Park focused on Rio despite injury, uncertain future


RIO DE JANEIRO – South Korea is the team to beat this week at the Olympic women’s golf competition with four players, the most of any nation, representing the country.

But on the eve of this week’s event, South Korea’s top player, fifth-ranked Inbee Park, didn’t sound like someone destined for a trip to the medal podium.

Park hasn’t played an LPGA event since missing the cut at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in early June because of a left thumb injury, and she missed the cut in her tune-up for the Games at a recent tournament on the Korean LPGA.

“It has been going very well, and I'm going to have to maybe do an MRI again after this week, because I have been practicing very hard the last month or so,” Park said after her practice round on Tuesday at the Olympic Golf Club. “But as far as right now, I feel pretty good.”

The uncertainty has become a familiar theme for Park this season. After having won five times in 2015, including two majors, she’s struggled this season with just two top-10 finishes and no victories.

Olympic golf coverage: Articles, photos and videos

The 28-year-old also struggled with a back injury last year but was able to overcome the challenge and win the Women’s British Open, her seventh major.

Park has suggested recently that she may be inching closer to retirement, and on Tuesday in Rio she didn’t dismiss the idea.

“I'd like to have a family soon and that's probably my priority maybe the next couple years,” she said. “I really don't know what's going to happen. If I have a baby or after I have a family, whether I'm going to come back or not come back. I'm just in between how to plan the rest of my career.”

Park said she hopes to be healthy enough to play next month’s Evian Championship in France, the LPGA’s final major.