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St. Andrews: Park's Place?

Suddenly, the upcoming British Open now looms as the biggest golf event of the year and arguably the biggest event in sports for 2013. No, not the men’s Open at Muirfield, the women’s at St. Andrews, where Inbee Park will try to do what no golfer—male or female—has ever done: win four consecutive professional major championships in the same calendar year. Park, for a variety of reasons, has stayed under the radar while winning the first three, but now her story commands the same sort of can-it-be-done attention as Tiger’s quest to break Nicklaus’s record, except that it’s all focused on one event. Should she pull it off, it will be the greatest achievement in the history of women’s golf. Sadly, however, its status as a grand slam will be debated, due to an unfortunately timed decision by the LPGA to accord major status (for the first time this year) to a fifth event, the Evian Masters. There are those who will argue that winning four straight majors is not enough, that Park would have to take all five to complete the circuit. Nonetheless, if she wins at St. Andrews, her accomplishment will stand alongside just two other feats in the game’s long history—Jones’s Grand Slam of 1930 and the Tiger Slam of 2000/01. And therein lies a good omen: Each of those slams included a victory on the Old Course.

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