Inbee Park Makes Return
Inbee Park will make her 2018 LPGA Tour debut this week at the newly-named HSBC Women’s World Championship.
Park, who last teed it up on the LPGA Tour at the Ricoh Women’s British Open in August, has been on the sidelines recovering from a myriad of injuries. She told LPGA.com that she’s been enjoying her time recuperating, and spending time with her family.
Not only that, Park, who already solidified her spot in the LPGA’s Hall of Fame before she turns 30 later this year, carried the Olympic torch at the Winter Olympic games just a few weeks ago.
“Words really cannot describe how the overall experience meant to me,” she told LPGA.com.
Despite the fact that Park hasn’t seen LPGA Tour action since the middle of last year, she’s been active on the Korean LPGA Tour and is more determined than ever to return to the winner’s circle at a major championship this year, telling LPGA.com that is her main goal.
She hasn’t won a major since 2015 and is eager to do just that as the 2018 season gets underway.
And it may be no better place to start for Park, who captured this event in 2015 and comes into the week as the defending champion. She won by a shot over Ariya Jutanugarn last year.
Jessica Korda Looking for More
In probably the feel-good story of the year so far, Jessica Korda won her fifth LPGA Tour event Sunday at the Honda LPGA Thailand by four shots.
What made it more special was that Korda, who turns 25 on Tuesday, was still recovering from off-season jaw surgery. She finished at 25-under par for the week, just under the amount of screws she still has in her mouth (27).
Korda’s surgery occurred on December 7th, and less than three months later, she’s found the winner’s circle again.
“When I look at myself I still don't feel like I look like myself yet. That will come. I'm just very, very happy. All the hard work I was putting in in the off-season when I could has paid off rather quickly,” she told reporters after her win Sunday.
After celebrating her birthday Tuesday, Korda will get back down to business as she’s in the field this week in Singapore. She finished tied for 15th at this event a year ago.
Jin Young Ko Keeping the Momentum
After capturing her first LPGA Tour title – in her debut as a member, at that – Jin Young Ko kept the momentum going last week at the Honda LPGA Thailand with a tie for seventh.
The rookie fired an 8-under par 64, Sunday – tied for the round of the day – and after just three events on the young season, Ko appears to be in the driver’s seat for Rookie of the Year honors.
Through the first few events of the year, Ko is leading in some key statistical categories including Driving Accuracy and Greens in Regulation, while being second in Scoring Average. With her victory and following top-10, she’s also leading the Race to the CME Globe, Rolex Player of the Year standings, and the aforementioned Rolex Rookie of the Year race as well.
All of this season’s winners – Brittany Lincicome, Jessica Korda, and Ko – are in the field this week in Singapore.
Lexi Thompson Gets to No.2 in the World
In seven rounds on the LPGA Tour so far in 2018, Lexi Thompson hasn’t yet been over par.
Thompson fired an 8-under par 64 on Sunday at the Honda LPGA Thailand, which was tied for the round of the day. Her seven rounds under par on the season, so far, put her first on Tour in Rounds Under Par, and her scoring average of 68.43 is third on Tour.
“Overall played very solid the whole week. Just had fun out there,” she said Sunday. “It was a good week.”
That “good week” translated into Thompson reaching No.2 in the Rolex Rankings once again, matching the highest she’s been in the world (she reached that mark last year as well).
She finished tied for 25th at this event last year.