News & Opinion

LPGA's Inbee Park takes solo lead but shares credit in Singapore

Inbee Park leads first round of 2021 HSBC Women's World Championship in Singapore
Inbee Park, with husband Gi Hyeob Nam filling in as caddie, shoots 8-under 64 for the 1st-round lead at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore.

Park shoots 8-under 64, then deflects credit to her husband, who fills in as caddie while regular looper faces COVID-19 restrictions

Inbee Park played a flawless first round at the LPGA's HSBC Women’s World Championship but deflected all credit to her pinch-hitting caddie.

Her husband, Gi Hyeob Nam, filled in as regular looper Brad Beecher was unable to make it to Singapore because of COVID-19 quarantine restrictions in his homeland of Australia. With Nam on the bag, Park birdied two of her final three holes to cap a bogey-free 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead at Sentosa Golf Club. (For first-round scores, click here.)

“I’m going to give him 10 [out of 10], and probably 10 for the rest of the week, because I’m really thankful that he’s doing this for me and in this heat,” Park said. “I’m just really thankful that he’s carrying the bag.”

Park, 32, of South Korea, who is ranked No. 2 in the world, won this event in 2015 and 2017. She posted a five-stroke victory at the Kia Classic on March 28 for her 21st career title on the LPGA.

Fellow South Korean Hee Young Park holed out for eagle on the par-4 10th and then added three consecutive birdies, on Nos. 14-16, to shoot 65 for solo second.

Germans Caroline Masson and Sophia Popov joined South Koreans So Yeon Ryu and Hyo Joo Kim and China’s Xiyu Lin in a tie for third place at 67.

Brittany Altomare, who shot 68 for a share of eighth place, is the only American among the top 10 in the 69-woman, no-cut event.

No. 1-ranked Jin Young Ko of South Korea (71) and No. 5 Danielle Kang of the U.S. (72) stood well off the early pace.

The Singapore stop precedes next week’s Honda LPGA Thailand event before the women’s tour returns to America for the heart of its 2021 schedule, with nine tournaments in as many weeks.

Sign up to receive the Morning Read newsletter, along with Where To Golf Next and The Equipment Insider.