What layoff? Park in position for back-to-back wins

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PHOENIX – Inbee Park moved into weekend position to win back-to-back LPGA starts.

With a 6-under-par 66 Friday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, Park climbed into a tie for seventh, two shots off the lead.

The LPGA Hall of Famer went four months without touching a club after winning the Olympic gold medal last summer. She took almost six months away from competition getting the damaged ligament in her left thumb right before making her return to the LPGA this year, but she won the HSBC Women’s Champions two weeks ago in just her second start of the year.

While Park said there’s “a lot of golf left” this weekend, she did say winning seems to have taken on newfound joy since her return.

“The win in Singapore definitely felt much more happy than other wins I’ve had,” Park said. “I think it's because I had to overcome some tough tasks and tough times.”

One of the game’s best putters, Park said she missed some chances Friday. Her ball striking has been impressive. She has hit 27 of 28 fairways this week and 30 of 36 greens.