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Tuesday October 8, 2013 MYT 5:15:00 PM
Tuesday October 8, 2013 MYT 5:16:58 PM
by s. ramaguru
Park in-Bee will be making her second title defence of the season as she eyes title No. 7 in Malaysia. – AFP Photo
KUALA LUMPUR: A sensational win at last year’s Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia has seen champion Park In-bee go on to scale the top of the Rolex Rankings this year.
She has won three Majors and three LPGA events, thus making her the golfer to beat in any tournament.
And on Tuesday she declared that she is back to try and retain her Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia title as she eyes the Player of the Year award.
The Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia begins Thursday at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC).
“Yes, that award is my objective this year. It has been a tremendous season for me thus far. I never expected to win six titles. Winning the Majors have certainly taken the pressure off me and it has made my game steadier,” said In-bee, who is currently No. 1 on the Rolex Rankings.
“Naturally, I want to win the title here in Kuala Lumpur and I feel good about this course at the KLGCC.”
In-bee defeated Choi Na-yeon by two strokes last year – as she birdied six of the last seven holes to win her third career title.
She has since enjoyed a sharp rise in the rankings, becoming the world No. 1 in June after bagging her third consecutive Major – the US Women’s Open.
Her other two Majors titles were the Wegmans LPGA Championships and the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
In-bee will be making her second title defence of the season as she eyes title No. 7 in Malaysia. Her previous title defence came undone when she could only finish tied 67th at the Evian Championship in France.
The 25-year old South Korean is coming off a third-placed finish in last week’s Reignwood LPGA Classic in Beijing.
This year’s LPGA Malaysia is the fourth edition.
South Korea’s Kang Jimin won the inaugural tournament in 2010, her compatriot Na-Yeon in 2011 before In-bee took the title last year, after defeating Na-yeon at the last hole.
“That was such a fantastic win ... coming at the last hole. I love playing here in Malaysia as the culture and food are just great,” said In-bee.
“I’ll give my best but whether there are any changes to my game will depend on how the course lies. It has been dry and I’m told that the humidity will be high. So, naturally it will have some effect on the players’ game.”
American Stacy Lewis, Norway’s Suzann Petersen and Na-yeon are seen as the likely challengers to In-bee, although former world No. 1 Tseng Yani of Taiwan should not be ruled out.
Lewis, who has also won three LPGA titles this year and one Major, is expecting an interesting tournament “as lots of players are in the running for the title”.
“I believe that the form and the course will play a big part. I like playing on this course and with the dry conditions, getting the proper feel of it will be crucial,” she said.
Tags / Keywords:
golf, Park In-bee, Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, LPGA Malaysia, Choi Na-yeon
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