Park eyes successful comeback in Singapore
HSBC Women's World Championship winner is aiming for a good start as she returns from injury lay-off
Singapore seems to be a happy hunting ground for golfer Park In Bee.
The South Korean, the first person to win the HSBC Women's World Championship twice, is hoping for a successful comeback in the Republic this week after recovering from the sore back that had kept her out of action for six months.
The world No. 13's last LGPA appearance was at the Ricoh Women's British Open last August.
But she has not completely stopped playing golf, taking part in two events in Korea: the Jeju Samdasoo Masters in August and the KB Financial Group Star Championship in October.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the US$1.5-million (S$1.98m) tournament that starts tomorrow, Park said: "I feel like I didn't take six months off because I was preparing for another event so I kept myself really busy.
"I feel really good about my mind so there's nothing to worry about for now."
In last year's event, the 29-year-old carded a 10-under 134 to claim the HSBC Women's World Championship in astounding fashion on her return from another six-month rest due to a thumb injury.
While the former world No. 1, who also won the tournament in 2015, admitted that repeating the feat would be ideal, she is taking things slowly.
I always feel good coming back to Singapore because I have been having a lot of good results in Singapore.South Korean Park In Bee, who has won the HSBC Women's World Championship twice
She said: "I always feel good coming back to Singapore because I have been having a lot of good results in Singapore. This is the first tournament of the year, it's kind of hard to judge where my game is.
"So for me, I'll play four rounds and see where my game is at and, if the results come, that's great."
Park, who has seven Major wins, is aiming for more, but prioritises finding joy in her game.
She said: "This is my 12th year on Tour, but it is still so hard to enjoy golf as long as I'm playing professionally.
"Hopefully, I can just enjoy a little bit more of the golf and maybe just free my mind a little bit more this year."
She will come up against some tough competitors in world No. 1 Feng Shanshan and world No. 2 Lexi Thompson in her title defence.
The in-form Feng, 28, is not stressing over winning the tournament, but has her sights set on a top-10 finish.
The Chinese is off to a good start to the year, having come in joint-third in the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic and tied-fifth in the Honda LPGA Thailand.
With achieving the top ranking ticked off her bucket list, Feng's goals this year include another Major and a hole-in-one.
HALL OF FAME
She said: "I really want to win a Major because I think, to be able to qualify for the world Hall of Fame, I still need to win one more Major."
American Lexi Thompson, 23, whose past year has been bittersweet, has enjoyed an equally excellent start to the year that saw her jump to world No. 2.
She has put last year's woes behind and wants to make this year a better one. She said: "Last year was a very up-and-down year, but there were so many positives to take from it. I'm a lot happier and, looking at how strong I was, coming into this year, I feel stronger than ever."