Golf: Relaxed approach key for pressure-free Park after losing top ranking

Free of the burden that comes with golf's world No. 1 ranking, South Korea's Park In Bee is looking forward to a more relaxed year on the LPGA Tour that she hopes will lead to an elusive British Open title. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Free of the burden that comes with golf's world No. 1 ranking, South Korea's Park In Bee is looking forward to a more relaxed year on the LPGA Tour that she hopes will lead to an elusive British Open title. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE (REUTERS) - Free of the burden that comes with golf's world No. 1 ranking, South Korea's Park In Bee is looking forward to a more relaxed year on the LPGA Tour that she hopes will lead to an elusive British Open title.

The 26-year-old world No. 2 was displaced by 17-year-old New Zealander Lydia Ko at the top of the rankings in January and she was hoping to reap the benefits of being away from the pressures pole position brought.

"I let Lydia have my No. 1 spot earlier this year so if I can capture that back at some point that would be a very good," Park told reporters on Wednesday.

"But I'm just going to try and have fun out here and not worry about so many numbers or so many stats or things like that it is enjoying it that is the most important thing.

"I've been in No. 1 spot and No. 2 spot before and it's a lot more relaxing position. You don't have as much pressure as No. 2 and people expect a little bit less than you than being in No. 1 spot."

Park will tee it up on Thursday at the HSBC Women's Champions event in Singapore, her fourth event of the year after shaking off the rust with three opening top-13 finishes. A strong start for some but not the five-time Major winner.

"I have started the last couple of seasons really good by winning the first tournament and finishing second the last two years so compared to that its a little bit of a slow start but there are so many tournaments to play."

The main one of those on Park's radar is the July 30-Aug 2 British Open at Turnberry in Scotland, which would be the fourth leg in her bid to win all five Majors in the same year.

Park has finished in the top 10 four times in the last five years at the British Open and she said pressure had played a part down the years, reaffirming her goal to relax in 2015. "Every British Open I have played the last couple of years I have had a lot of pressure on myself so this year my main goal will be to get the pressure off a little bit and just playing like a normal tournament.

"I like the links golf style. I like the wind and the challenge there so hopefully I can hold the trophy there."