Golf: Park In Bee rediscovers motivation after six-month injury lay-off, seeks strong start at HSBC event at New Tanjong

South Korean golfer Park In Bee speaking at a press conference in Singapore on Feb 28, 2017.
South Korean golfer Park In Bee speaking at a press conference in Singapore on Feb 28, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - The extended break last year to recover from a thumb injury was exactly what former world No. 1 Park In Bee needed to recharge her batteries and rediscover motivation for the 2017 LPGA Tour season.

The seven-time Major winner missed 19 Tour events in the six months that she was out injured and made her competitive return at last week's Honda LPGA Thailand where she finished tied for 25th at five-under-par.

Park, 28, was victorious at the 2015 edition of the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore and despite her long lay-off, believes her game is ready to become the first woman to win the event twice.

The world No. 12 and Olympic champion said on Tuesday's press conference at the Sentosa Golf Club: "I have to work on my short game and putting a little bit more but as the week goes on it should get better...

"The time away was important as I've played so much golf in my career and was struggling a bit with wondering what to do with my life. But now I feel good and motivated again and want to win tournaments, including Majors."

The US$1.5 million (S$2.11 million) tournament will be held at the New Tanjong Course for the first time, having been held at the adjacent Serapong Course for the past four years.

World No. 6 Lexi Thompson said the new surroundings meant the par 72, 6,108m layout was in excellent condition and would be a stern test for the elite 63-women field.

The 22-year-old American said: "Everyone's new to the course so it'll be a fair challenge this week for all of us. I'm looking forward to getting out there."