Inbee Park battled through physical woes to win the Ricoh Women’s British Open last year, and she says she will try to muster the same resolve in an attempt to win a gold medal in Olympic women’s golf next week.
Park told media at the Korean LPGA’s Jeju Samdasoo Masters last week that her injured left thumb is feeling better. She says she felt rusty but highly motivated to get ready for Rio de Janeiro.
“It’s true that I’m on a thorny path,” Park said. “But I want to get through and repay fans for their support. I want to give it my all.”
Park ended up missing the cut in South Korea, her first tournament in two months. She had not played since qualifying for the LPGA Hall of Fame at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship outside Seattle in early June. During her extended break, she withdrew from both the U.S. Women’s Open and Women’s British, where she was the defending champ. She took the time off to rest and rehab inflammation of cartilage and ligaments in her left thumb, a malady that has plagued her most of this season.
Before teeing it up last weekend, Park said she felt about “80 percent” healthy. After missing the cut, she said she felt good, with little pain, but she didn’t feel sharp with her iron play or putting.
Last summer, Park battled through physical challenges to win the Women’s British Open, her seventh major championship.
“I had back pain,” Park told media at the Jeju Samdasoo Masters. “I overcame it and won.”
Despite taking two month-long breaks early this season to deal with injuries, and two months this summer, Park is still the highest ranked South Korean in the world at No. 5 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.