With her husband on the bag, Inbee Park jumped out to the early lead at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore. Park, a two-time winner of the occasion, opened with a bogey-free 64 at Sentosa Golf Club, hitting each fairway, 16 greens and solely 26 putts.
“I’m just really thankful that he’s carrying the bag,” mentioned Park. “I don’t need an exact number. I don’t need anything. I just need him next to me, that’s all, just carrying the bag.”
This marks the second time Gi Hyeob Nam, who’s additionally Park’s teacher, has caddied for his spouse. G.H. made his debut on the bag at final yr’s AIG Women’s British Open, the place Park completed fourth. The couple married in 2014.
When the LPGA went to Scotland final August for back-to-back occasions, gamers had been stored in a strict bubble that included solely the resort and golf course. It’s the identical this week in Singapore and Thailand, which is why having her husband step in as caddie allowed him to make the journey.
HSBC Women’s World Championship: Leaderboard
Players weren’t allowed to take company on the two-week journey to Asia, solely caddies. Protocols are so strict, in reality, that if a participant’s husband occurs to caddie for a unique participant, the couple can’t room collectively these subsequent two weeks. David Buhai, for instance, loops for Jeongeun Lee6, and never his spouse Ashleigh.
Park, an LPGA Hall of Famer with 21 titles, mentioned she and her husband learn putts rather well collectively on Thursday. It was so stress-free and fulfilling, in reality, that Park didn’t even know the place she stood throughout the spherical.
“I hit a lot of great shots but probably left myself a lot of 10- to 15-footers,” mentioned Park, “and I was able to make most of them, which has been the difference this year. You know, holing putts when you need to hole.”
Hee Young Park sits alone in second at 7 beneath whereas Sophia Popov, Xiyu Lin, Caroline Masson, So Yeon Ryu and Hyo Joo Kim are tied for third at 5 beneath.
Popov is certainly one of 12 gamers making their debut in Singapore this week. As somebody who loves to sightsee and get away from the recreation, these two weeks spent largely inside a resort room (even sidewalk strolls aren’t allowed) current a problem for the 2020 AIG winner.
“Normally, I’m the kind of person, I use half my day to just go out there and experience something new and take my mind off of golf,” mentioned Popov. “Now it’s really hard because you go back to the hotel room. You’re by yourself. You have to find other distractions other than just going out. You can’t leave the hotel. So I think that’s hard for me, being the kind of person that I am. I like to be very active.”