As if there wasn’t enough stress involved in playing in a major championship, LPGA Tour pro Annie Park had to deal with a pro’s worst nightmare ahead of this week’s ANA Inspiration.
Waking up Thursday morning expecting to begin a tournament that hopefully resulted in a jump into Poppy’s Pond, Park found the rear window of her car bashed in and her golf clubs missing.
“I had a little meltdown for about three minutes,” Park told GolfChannel.com’s Randall Mell. “But it didn’t last. I had to gather myself pretty quickly. I was on a time crunch, and I had to figure things out.
“I think I handled it pretty well.”
Park and her team threw together a mismatched set of clubs that included her caddie’s irons, new wedges, a hybrid and a putter she bought at the Mission Hills pro shop. She also used a Callaway driver off the pro shop rack.
What a round for Annie Park. She woke up to find her clubs were stolen out of the back of her car at her hotel last night, playing with an emergency mish-mash set, courtesy of Mission Hills & LPGA club tech Paul Boehmer. She’s 2-over after 16. pic.twitter.com/nnOLOfZ1Gs
— Randall Mell (@RandallMellGC) April 4, 2019
Despite the unfortunate start to the day, a chip-in on the first hole as well as birdies on Nos. 5 and 6 had Park tied for the early lead.
However, her unfamiliar clubs conspired with tricky wind conditions to lead to a 4-over par 76 in the first round.
“I didn’t have distance control,” she said. “I didn’t know my distances.”
Even still, Park plans to use the same set on Friday in an attempt to play the weekend.
“I know I can make some birdies with these clubs,” Park said. “I’m just going to go out and do my best with them again tomorrow.”
Park is seven shots back of the first-round lead and one shot outside the projected cut as of this writing.