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Inbee Park explains why she’s the world’s best putter from 10-15 feet

WEST CALDWELL, N.J. – Inbee Park is holing putts at a higher rate than nearly anyone in the world and for her, the further out, the better.

Park, the world No. 3, is making putts from 10-15 feet a remarkable 64% of the time, according to LPGA stats compiled through KMPG Performance Insights.

For context, the rest of the LPGA averages 28% from that range, while on the PGA Tour it’s about 30%. The statistical leaders from 10-15 feet on the PGA Tour was around 41% and Park is converting putts from that distance better than the Tour average from 5-10 feet.

That’s because the longer the putt, the more relaxed and confident Park is with the flatstick.

“I heard about the stats and I wasn’t surprised, because I always kind of felt a lot more comfortable putting 10 to 15 feet than like 6 to 8 feet or 5 to 7 feet,” Park said Wednesday at the Cognizant Founders Cup. “I heard the percentage is higher to make the 10- to 15-footer. I think this really comes down to the mind. I feel a lot more relaxed doing 10- to 15-footer where I don’t have to make the putt, right? It’s usually less than half of the percentage that I’m going to miss.

Full-field scores from the Cognizant Founders Cup

“So, but like 3 to 5, 7 feet, you know, I think I’m putting too much pressure on myself, so maybe that’s why the percentages are lower. That’s the game I’m trying to get.”

Fellow South Korean So Yeon Ryu said last week that Park isn’t as focused on the result of her putts compared to the process, which is hitting the line with the correct speed. And if the 33-year-old, seven-time major winner trusts the process, the longer distance doesn’t necessarily matter.

“Yeah, I think [Ryu’s] pretty dead correct on that one,” Park said. “On the greens, there are some many variables that you have to take into account. It’s just hard to think about everything. There are so many things happening on the way to the hole. ... [after] the ball goes off the clubface there is nothing I can do.

“I’m just trying to put the right speed, the right line, and that’s pretty much all I can do.”

Park is coming off a T-2 finish last week at the 54-hole ShopRite LPGA Classic, roughly two hours south of the Founders Cup’s new venue, Mountain Ridge Country Club. The tournament has been played in Scottsdale, Arizona, since its inception in 2011.

Park held the 36-hole ShopRite lead, but a final-round 69 allowed France’s Celine Boutier to overtake her with a closing 63. But despite Park not playing in an event since the AIG Women’s Open, where she finished T-52 in late August, Park was content with her result and looks to build off of it this week.

“The last day (last week) was not the day I was really, really looking forward to it, but I gave it all I got,” she said. “Just came up a little short. That’s it. Definitely gave me some confidence coming to this week.”

With four events remaining in the LPGA season, Park will have a few weeks off before the BMW Ladies Championship in Korea, which she said will be her final tournament this year.