The Korea Herald


Park In-bee withdraws from LPGA season opener with back injury

By KH디지털2

Published : Jan. 29, 2016 - 09:13

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World No. 2 Park In-bee withdrew from the LPGA Tour's season opener on Thursday in the Bahamas with a back injury after shooting her worst round in seven years.

Park shot a seven-over 80 at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic, the worst score in the field of 108 after one round. Park picked up four birdies, but also committed seven bogeys and two double bogeys at the par-73, 6,625-yard Ocean Club Golf Course on Paradise Island.

Her Seoul-based agency, Galaxia SM, said Park came down with back pain during the round and decided to pull out of the tournament after completing her first day.

Park will also skip the next week's event, the Coates Golf Championship in Ocala, Florida, from Feb. 3-6.

The last time Park failed to break an 80 at an LPGA event was the final round of the Wegmans LPGA in June 2009, when she carded a nine-over 81. It remains Park's worst LPGA round.

Park wasn't scheduled to compete at the tour's third tournament of the year, the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open from Feb.

18-21, and she could be back for Honda LPGA Thailand, starting on Feb. 25.

Park said after her dismal round she hopes to be better the next time she tees up.

"I'd been dealing with some pains in my lower back, and things started getting worse a few weeks ago," she said. "I didn't feel great today. But I hope I will feel better by the Thai tournament."

Park birdied the second and the fourth holes, and traded a bogey on the fifth with a birdie on the sixth.

Park had her first hiccup with a double bogey on the par-5 seventh and dropped another shot with a bogey on the ninth.

The bottom fell out over the back nine, where Park had five bogeys and one double bogey against just one birdie.

Seven golfers were tied for the lead at five-under 68. Kawk Min-seo was the top South Korean at four-under. Defending champion Kim Sei-young shot two-under with three birdies and a bogey.

Prior to the tournament, Park told the Golf Channel that she wasn't expecting much from herself because she's always been a slow starter.

"Fall and winter, I'm horrible," Park was quoted as saying. "Sometimes, in winter time when I play, I'm like, 'You're so bad.'"

Only two of Park's 17 LPGA victories have come before April 1. (Yonhap)