Park's a silent champion
There were thunderous cheers yesterday as Park Inbee hit her approach to the 18th green, to about four metres from the pin.
It was a shot that put the stamp on the South Korean's convincing golf triumph at the 2015 HSBC Women's Champions at Sentosa's Serapong course.
But the affable Park's response was unusual.
There was no victory wave. No doffing of cap. Or a high-five with her caddie.
She was emotionless. Expressionless. Never even breaking into a smile.
Maybe because she had seen it all before, that glorious walk to the finishing green.
Her sensational record in a pro career of nine years reads: 13 LPGA titles, one European triumph, four Japanese crowns, another regional win and five Majors.
And for this first HSBC title which drew the world's top 50 players, the world No. 2 had a three-shot cushion as she ambled her way to her ball.
So the high drama of last year - when Paula Creamer sank a 75-foot for an eagle to beat Spaniard Azahara Munoz in the second play-off hole - was a thing of beauty soaked in history.
Flightmates world No. 1 Lydia Ko and world No. 3 Stacy Lewis, a former champion, could offer only token resistance.
On a hot, windy day, a big crowd followed the world's top three players, hoping for some drama as only two shots separated the leader from the twin chasers.
But no. The lady in white, the current best of the Seoul Sisters who played impeccable golf over the previous three days, was simply too good.
Too powerful. Unbeatable. Never letting her grip go.
Holding a two-shot lead going into yesterday's round, she kept Lewis at bay with a flawless round.
And although Lydia, her left thumb strapped, offered some fight on the outward journey and drew level once, Park's consistency saw her through.
A bogey-free display over 92 holes (carried over from the 16th hole of the third round at last week's Thailand Open), underlined that steadiness.
A two-under 70 yesterday was enough to see Park romp to a wire-to-wire victory.
"This week was just incredible. I don't think I can even believe myself that I didn't make any bogeys for 72 holes," was how she summed up her round.
Against that bright backdrop, Lydia - despite the brilliant birdie on the finishing hole - delivered some loose shots and rued a couple of birdie misses.
Lewis had a helter-skelter round, best endorsed on the par-five 12th when she sent her wayward second shot to the palm trees.
The ball nestled on a branch and - thanks to caddie Travis Wilson who retrieved it while standing on a buggy - the American suffered only a one-shot penalty.
What followed was sheer brilliance.
Lewis lofted a chip over the bunker and saw her ball finish about five metres away.
And she sank the difficult downhill putt to save par while Lydia, in contrast, three-putted for a bogey.
Lewis birdied the next par-four hole and the fans longed for a fightback from the 2013 champion.
But no. She floundered again.
Another bogey saw her fall further behind.
And, on the 18th hole, she chunked her approach from 100 metres and the ball spun back into the pond.
In the meantime, precision golf from tee to green saw Park safely manouevring her way to a well-deserved victory.
She was truly a champion of champions.