From 1994-96, no high school golfer in the state — or maybe America — was better than Grace Park.
At Phoenix Xavier High School as a sophomore, and at Scottsdale Horizon High School as an upperclassman, she won the Class 5A state title in three consecutive years.
She won the NCAA title at Arizona State in 1998 and was Rolex Eleanor Dudley College Player of the Year.
She became the first woman since Patty Berg to sweep the major amateur championships.
Park won the 1998 Golfweek Player of the Year and the 1998-99 Honda Award as the college player of the year.
She finished her amateur career with 55 titles from the junior and college ranks.
She played in three LPGA events in 1999 before turning pro. She received exempt status on the LPGA Tour after finishing atop the Futures Tour money list.
In each of her first five full years on tour, she finished in the top 10 no fewer than 12 times. She has won six LPGA events, the latest in 2004. Her career earnings have topped $5 million.
Seoul, South Korea; 32
By the numbers
Times, in 19 college tournaments, that Park finished in the top 10.
In celebration of Arizona’s centennial, the Star will feature our picks for the 100 best athletes, moments and teams.
Throughout the summer, we will showcase our list — with the first 90 in no particular order. In August, Greg Hansen will choose his top 10, with a column on each.