PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas – Rolex world No. 2 Inbee Park is off to a strong start a week after losing the top ranking to Lydia Ko.
A 5-under 68 moved Park into early contention Thursday at the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic, one shot behind Brooke Pancake, the leader in the clubhouse in the rain-suspended first round at Ocean Club Golf Course.
Park gives herself a chance to take back the No. 1 ranking this week with a finish of fourth place or better.
If Parks wins, she moves back to No. 1 if Ko finishes T-2 or worse. Park can also move back to No. 1 with second-, third- and fourth-place finishes, depending on what Ko does under various scenarios.
Park wasn’t satisfied with her start last week at the LPGA’s season-opening Coates Golf Championship, where she tied for 13th. Ko took the top ranking by tying for second there.
“I hit a lot of greens, and I was able to drop some putts today,” Park said. “So, yeah, everything was much better than last week. I’m really happy about that.”
Park doesn’t typically expect a lot early in the year, but Ko’s seizing the top ranking has upped the ante at the start of the season.
“I'm not a quick starter,” Park said. “I'm a little bit of a slow starter, and I usually play well in the summer. So, if I can start quicker, that would be nice, but I'm just trying to enjoy myself in the Bahamas.”