Salas takes advantage of Park's mistake to grab LPGA lead

Hannah Green

Park leapfrogged three players to reach No. 1 in the latest rankings unveiled Tuesday on the strength of her victory at the Indy Women in Tech Championship in Indianapolis, Indiana, over the weekend.

The stoic player reserves displays of emotion for big moments - like collecting her third LPGA title of 2018 at the Indy Women in Tech Championship and rising to World No. 1 in the process.

Taking the spoils this time was Park Sung-hyun. "I made some really good putts".

Park was then whisked away to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's finish line, where she celebrated by kissing the bricks and taking the traditional sip of milk - though she declined to take the milk bath as the event's inaugural victor, Lexi Thompson, did past year. Park is still learning how to win without her best game.

She became the second three-time victor on tour this season and now won five LPGA Tour titles over the past two years - including two majors.

About half the field had to finish their second round on Saturday after weather delayed action on Friday.

But the 29-year-old Californian seems to have the ideal touch for this course, which weaves around and inside the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"I didn't expect that tradition, but I was pleased to do it", Park said.

While both have played their way into the winner's circle repeatedly this season, Jutanugarn has been the more consistent of the two players.

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Park closed with a four-under 68 to match Salas at 23-under 265.

Then the tournament that had been full of low scores and light on drama suddenly switched.

When the South Korean mishit her approach shot into the water on the par-4 16th, Salas capitalized quickly. When her putts kept rolling in Friday, she was virtually unbeatable. "This was a completely different golf course, so I had to change my mentality a little bit and I had to forget about the 62 in a way and just go back to what I was doing".

Salas, hitting first, drove down the middle of the fairway within 90 yards of the hole.

Park's putt, meanwhile, dropped cleanly in the middle of the cup.

"It was hard for me to take the break because I didn't want to show weakness", she said. "I just really felt comfortable".

"I didn't even think about it the entire time", Salas said.

Sung Hyun Park punched the air with her right fist as her face broke out into a sparkling smile. Yin was tied for fifth with Thidapa Suwannapura of Thailand and Amy Yang of South Korea, who also had eight holes to go. Jutanugarn tied for seventh after shooting 66 for an 18-under 270.

But it was Park who delivered an eighth straight win for non-Americans.

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