World No. 1 Park In-bee was officially named Female Player of the Year at the annual Golf Writers Association of America awards at Augusta, Georgia on Wednesday. She collected the gong one day before the Masters, the first major of the U.S. PGA season, got under way at Augusta National Golf Club in the city.
Park claimed six titles on the LPGA Tour last year, including a historic run that saw her win the first three majors of the season. This helped her garner an overwhelming majority of 91 percent when the association held its ballot in January to determine who should receive the award for 2013.
Adam Scott, who became the first Australian to win the Masters last year, was named Male Player of the Year, edging out Tiger Woods. Scott is currently ranked world No. 2 and is a strong favorite to defend his title at Augusta.
Park described the Masters as being like a sporting festival for the cream of the world's golfers to enjoy together, adding that she felt honored to receive the award.
She said she plans to watch the first round of the event to support Korean players including Choi Kyung-ju.
She hoped the award would help boost her performance, saying she will have to play well this season if she is to make a trip to Augusta next year to collect it a second time. However, she has not been off to a good start this season.
Park has only posted one win on the European Tour so far this year. She finished 38th at the Kraft Nabisco Championship last week, forcing her to concede the title she earned in Rancho Mirage, California one year earlier.
During her acceptance speech, Park credited all of those unsung heroes who had contributed to her rise to the top of the sport.