Park OK winning ‘under the radar’

“Anything You Can Do”€ was a song written by Irving Berlin for a Broadway musical called “€œAnnie Get Your Gun.”€ It was written in 1946.

If it were composed today for the men’€™s and women’€™s golf tours, he might have called it “€œInbee Get Your 7-Iron.”€ Instead of Ethel Merman, Bette Midler might have sung the woman’€™s part.

Inbee is Inbee Park, a Bishop Gorman High graduate and, in the estimation of most, the best women’€™s golfer in the world. In a couple of days she’€™ll be leaving for Scotland to continue her quest of completing the women’€™s career Grand Slam at the female version of the British Open, at Donald Trump’€™s links at Turnberry Resort.

Last weekend, Jordan Spieth was in Scotland at the birthplace of golf, St. Andrews, bidding to win his third Grand Slam event in one season. Shades of Bobby Jones.

When young Spieth came up one shot short, Park was watching on TV, owing to the vagaries of British Open weather.

“€œI looked at golf yesterday because obviously we weren’€™t playing on Monday,” Park, 27, said on a Tuesday conference call with a small group of golf reporters. “€œIt’€™s always great to watch the course, the shots you hit that you remember. So it was really exciting to see men’€™s golf on St. Andrews, and obviously Jordan Spieth came really close to winning it.”€

The Texas phenom came up short when his ball did the same on the 18th hole and landed in the notorious “€œValley of Sin.”€ If Park had hit a ball into the Valley of Sin in 2013, she wasn’€™t saying.

Is there anything Spieth can do that Park can do better?

“€œI know how hard it is to put himself in contention when there’€™s so much pressure when he’€™s going for the three majors in a year. I really know how that feels,”€ said Park, who won three straight majors in 2013, with her most recent coming in the Women’€™s PGA Championship in June.

“€œSo even if he didn’€™t win, I thought he did a really great job of having been in contention.”

The women’€™s Grand Slam isn’t nearly as prestigious as the men’€™s. There are five women’€™s majors, and one is called the Evian Championship, which just doesn’€™t sound that illustrious. Not yet, anyway.

And whereas there have been 144 men’s British Opens, there have been just 14 played as a major championship on the women’€™s side.

It’€™s still difficult to win four of the women’s majors in one’€™s lifetime. Only six — Pat Bradley, Juli Inkster, Annika Sorenstam, Louise Suggs, Karrie Webb, Mickey Wright —€” have accomplished it. At 27, it would seem Park has all kinds of time to join them.

Perhaps so. But Tiger Woods once had all kinds of time to break Jack Nicklaus’€™ record for major wins. And now he doesn’€™t.

While six of Park’€™s 15 tournament titles have come in majors, she really can’€™t put a finger on why she plays so well in the big ones. She said whereas many players like to rest up before majors, she usually plays a tuneup event. Maybe that’€™s it.

You can fix things on the golf course during a competitive round that you can’€™t fix on the practice tee or putting green, she says.

Or maybe it’€™s just getting into rhythm during summertime, a competitive pace and routine she started developing when she and her family moved to Las Vegas from South Korea, so Park could pursue a pro career, beginning with her two years at Bishop Gorman.

“€œSince I was a junior, my rhythm in my body is just really, really used to it in the summertime,”€ she said. “€œThat’€™s where we play the most tournaments. So I think my body just got used to it.”€

She also spoke of flying “€œunder the radar.”€ That’€™s something you never hear Tiger Woods speak of. With Tiger, and now probably with Spieth, too, that’€™s impossible. Sometimes when you fly above the radar, there are pressures and expectations, and then you wind up chain smoking cigarettes and wearing crazy pants like John Daly.

In speaking with Park, you don’€™t get the impression she’€™ll wind up wearing crazy pants on a golf course. She touched on this when one of the golf writers asked about a legacy.

“€œI don’€™t want too much attention,”€ she said. “€œI just want to live my life casually and just really enjoy my life.

“€œGolf is what I want to do; this is what I enjoy to do. The rest of the stuff comes with it. I just try to live a happy life and the results just come. I don’€™t try to rush for anything. I don’€™t try to achieve anything that …”€

She didn’€™t finish the sentence.

“€œI don’t know. I just want to live my life happily,”€ she said with chuckle that was slight and bashful.

So next week Park will get out her 7-iron at Donald Trump’€™s place over there in Scotland, and she’€™ll get out the other clubs, too. She’€™ll try to hit ‘€™em straight, hope the wind doesn’€™t blow too hard and see if anybody sings at the end.

Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ron Kantowski can be reached at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow him on Twitter: @ronkantowski.

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