Golf disaster struck Annie Park’s hopes of competing for her first career major this weekend at the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, California.
The 23-year-old woke up at her hotel Thursday morning in the Southern California desert to discover the worst possible golf-related news a golfer can come across prior to a round — she didn’t have any clubs.
Someone broke into her car in the hotel parking lot and stole all of her equipment, The Palm Springs Desert Sun reported.
Thief took ‘pretty much everything’
"I couldn't believe it at first, then I kind of had to believe it real quick," Park said Friday. "They stole my clubs, bag, balls, glove, hat and sweater. Pretty much everything."
Park found help scrambling for a new set of clubs before her round at the Mission Hills Country Club.
Makeshift set of clubs
The Desert Sun reports that she put together a set consisting of her caddie’s irons, some wedges and a hybrid that she had separate from her bag, a putter from the pro shop and a 3-wood an LPGA club-repair tech put together at the last minute. She also had a driver shaft that a new head was attached to Thursday morning.
All in all, not an ideal setup or use of time ahead of a golf round. Especially considering the irons she used didn’t have the proper stiffness for her swing.
"[My caddie's] shafts are extra stiff so trying to adjust to that was a little bit tough, distance control and trying to figure out what my distances were was the biggest challenge," she said.
Park missed the cut
Park ended up shooting a 4-over 76 on Thursday and a 6-over 78 on Friday to miss the cut by five strokes.
Her struggles are easy to understand for even the most casual golfer. A stressful scramble just before a round is a terrible way to start a day on the course. Heading to the first tee box with unfamiliar clubs that don’t fit is even worse.
Park, an NCAA champion at USC, has one LPGA Tour victory on her résumé and wasn’t considered a serious threat to compete this weekend. But her club fiasco probably tanked any hope she had of making the cut.
Here’s guessing she never leaves her clubs in her car unattended again.
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