After the first LPGA major of the year teed off on Thursday, Annie Park found herself tied for the lead after six holes of the Ana Inspirational in California. It was especially impressive considering that less than three hours before the tournament began, Park discovered that her golf clubs had been stolen from her rental car, reports GolfChannel.com. The thief also got her backup set. “I had a little meltdown for about three minutes,” says the 23-year-old. “But it didn’t last. I had to gather myself pretty quickly." With help from her caddie and the LPGA club repair tech, Park cobbled together a set and teed off. Alas, her hot start faded when the wind picked up, and Park struggled to gauge distances with the clubs. She ended up shooting a 4-over 76, then a 6-over 78 on Friday, and missed the cut by five strokes, reports Yahoo Sports.
"I couldn't believe it at first, then I kind of had to believe it real quick," Park said after her round on Friday. "They stole my clubs, bag, balls, glove, hat, and sweater. Pretty much everything." Park is now earning major praise for her poise, not to mention her skill. She didn't use the foreign set of clubs as an excuse for missing the cut, but "it's safe to say that Park is underplaying how difficult it is to play with clubs you've never used before," writes Shad Powers at the Palm Springs Desert Sun. Her caddie said he figured they'd have to bag the tournament before it began, and the LPGA tech who helped her with replacement clubs adds, "For what she had happen to her, she was pretty impressive." (Read more LPGA stories.)