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Olympic hopes driving me on, says Park after Kia win

(Reuters) – Park Inbee mentioned the prospect of defending her Olympic title at this 12 months’s Tokyo Games is driving her on this season after the South Korean began her 2021 LPGA Tour marketing campaign with victory on the Kia Classic on Sunday.

The world quantity 4, who received gold at Rio in 2016 as golf made its return to the Olympics for the primary time since 1904, collected her twenty first LPGA Tour title with a five-shot win over Americans Amy Olson and Lexi Thompson in California.

The 32-year-old is now 4 wins away from matching Pak Se-ri’s report for probably the most LPGA Tour victories by a South Korean however she mentioned the possibility to defend her Olympic title in Tokyo was her prime precedence.

“The good motivation for me obviously now is the Olympics,” mentioned Park, who topped the rostrum forward of New Zealand’s Lydia Ko and China’s Shanshan Feng in Rio.

“I knew that the Olympics was going to happen (this year), and it really motivates me, trying to prepare myself at my best so I can represent the country,” she was quoted as saying by Yonhap information company.

The prime 15 gamers on this planet rankings on the finish of June qualify for the July 23-Aug. 8 Tokyo Games, with a most of 4 golfers allowed from every nation.

Despite being No. 4 on this planet, Park is simply the third-highest ranked South Korean participant, behind No. 1 Ko Jin-young and No. 2 Kim Sei-young.

“Trying to qualify myself for the Olympics is actually not as easy as like winning a tournament,” Park added.

“You have to play really well for four years after the Olympics is done and you have to be playing best at the time.

“But I believe I get shut. I would not say I’m secure however getting near my aim.”

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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