Inbee Park finished last week’s HUGEL-AIR PREMIA LA Open in a tie for 15th, technically her worst result through four events in 2021. Debuting with a win at the Kia Classic back in March, Park has built up quite the momentum as she enters her 12th HSBC Women’s World Championship. Sitting at No. 2 in the Rolex Rankings since the week of March 29th, Park said obtaining No. 1 in the world again isn’t something she plays for, but recognizes her recent string of consistent play gets her closer to her goal of making it to the Tokyo Olympics.
“Obviously this year is a very important year for me with the Olympics in August, and my main goal is trying to qualify for the team. The Korean team is not the easiest team to make,” said Park, the reigning Olympic gold medalist. “I'm just trying to play good golf; everything just comes with it when I play good golf, and I'm just trying to play week-by-week. It's a long season. I'm just trying not to get too quick with the season. Just trying to control my body conditions a little bit so I can have good conditions in the middle, later in the year.”
The two-time HSBC champion has had to quickly regroup from her time at the LA Open and an over 17-hour flight to Singapore. “Probably, we spent about 30, 40 hours just indoors,” said Park, who along with the rest of the incoming participants had to test and quarantine until receiving negative results. Despite the restrictive COVID-19 protocols, Park said she’s grateful to return to a place she remembers quite fondly.
“Singapore is definitely a special spot for me and I really love the country, and being here, I really love being here,” said Park. “It has been very tough call for a tournament to make the decision, but I'm really thankful that they made the decision for us so that we can come here and play. I'm really, really happy to be back here again in Singapore with really great memories here.”
This week, Park’s husband and coach Gi Hyeob Nam will make his return as caddie for the first time since the 2020 AIG Women’s Open, where she finished in solo fourth. “Well, I think myself might not be the biggest problem this week because my husband is on the bag this week. So I mean, in the heat conditions, I'm not sure how he's going to do. Maybe if I don't play after two rounds, maybe just my husband probably passed out,” joked Park. “Scotland was rainy but it was not hot. This week is going to be definitely a fight with the heat, and you know, we are going to have to rest really well this week.”