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Park returns to her best to win in golf's Olympic return

Lydia Ko of New Zealand, putts on the 16th hole during the final round of the women's golf event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016.

Park carded a closing 66 at Reserva de Marapendi to finish 16 under par, five shots clear of world No 1 Lydia Ko, who birdied the last to claim silver ahead of China's Shanshan Feng.

Stacy Lewis was the highest-finishing American, ending up in a tie for fourth place at 9 under par. "I had to overcome a lot of obstacles", Park said.

At no. 3 and 7 in the world, Brooke Henderson and Stacy Lewis of Canada and the United States of America respectively did their utmost to claw their way into the bronze medal race. "I played pretty decent".

Park shot a 5-under-66 in the final round to win the four-day tournament.

Park had been criticised in Korea for missing two months of the LPGA tour and the British Open to nurse a thumb injury in order to be fit for the Olympics.

The seven time major victor fired a final round 66, a score bettered by only two players one the day, to reach 16-under-par.

The United States, which had the second most players who qualified with three, missed out on the podium, which US golfer Stacy Lewis said was disappointing.

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"She is in the Hall of Fame, she has won a gold medal, she has done something no one else has done". It was quite emotional as I knew it was going to be too tough to get that medal spots but I just kept working and giving it my all.

Oh, who was moving into contention before double-bogeying the 13th hole, said she was surprised by how emotional she became when she fell out of contention, but "the fact that I can call myself an Olympian now is really special".

"What she has done is unbelievable", Lewis said. "I had to overcome a lot of obstacles", the victor said, referring to her comeback from injury.

The Chinese golfer has turned her target from competing to enjoying in Rio as golf made its comeback to the prestigious quadrennial sporting event after a long 112 years since the 1904 Summer Olympics. As for what she does now, next month's Evian Championship is the only one of the LPGA's five current majors she hasn't won.

US women's team member Stacy Lewis suggested that men make too much money compared to women golfers to bother representing their countries.

The round of the day was shot by Maria Verchenova, whose uniquely stylish course attire, topped off with a wide-brimmed hat, invariably conveys the impression she has just popped out for a quick 18 en route to Royal Ascot.

Biggest disappointments: Lewis and Nomura came up one shot and few inches short of a playoff with Feng for bronze.

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