Park on cusp of qualifying for LPGA HOF

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Inbee Park will play out the rest of this season on the doorstep to the LPGA Hall of Fame.

She starts the fall Asian swing Thursday at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia event knowing she could qualify with a strong finish to the year.

With her four LPGA titles this season, two of them major championships, Park has accumulated 25 LPGA Hall of Fame points in her career, two short of qualifying for induction. She could meet the requirement before the year is over without even winning. An LPGA victory is worth one point but so is winning the Rolex Player of the Year Award and so is winning the Vare Trophy for low scoring average. Park leads the Rolex Player of the Year points race and also leads the tour in scoring average.

“My new goal,” Park said of Hall of Fame induction.

Park, 26, is in her ninth year as an LPGA member and must be an active member for 10 years before she’s actually eligible to be inducted.

While Park relishes the chance to make it into the LPGA Hall of Fame and World Golf Hall of Fame, she isn’t hurrying to make it happen this fall. She made that clear Wednesday when she was asked if winning her second Rolex Player of the Year Award is an important goal.

“If I could win that award again this year, that would be great,” Park said. “That's definitely not my priority. I set my goal this year to win the British Open, and I have won the British Open, so I really have achieved any goal. If I ask for more, I think it's being just a little bit too much.

“I am just trying to keep in mind that my goal was the British Open and the rest is just a present. If something comes with it, that's great. If not, it’s still a great year.”

Park, the Rolex world No. 1, said she learned a lesson trying to do too much late last year. She was chasing Stacy Lewis for the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy and the LPGA money title going to the CME Group Tour Championship at year’s end. She watched Lewis sweep all three of those awards.

“I'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself because that's what I did last year, and it didn't work so well,” Park said. “Trying to learn from the experience and trying to enjoy the rest of the year.”