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Inbee Park maintains share of lead at HSBC Women’s World despite putter 'betrayal'

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Inbee Park maintains a share of the lead at the HSBC Women’s World Championship despite what she called a “betrayal” of her putter. Park’s second-round 69 puts her knotted with old friend Hee Young Park (no relation) at 11-under 133. They’re two strokes ahead of compatriot Hyo Joo Kim and China’s Xiyu Lin.

“Everything has been very consistently good,” said Inbee. “My driving to my iron shots to everything has been pretty good. I could have easily shot 7-, 8-under par if my putter worked a little bit better. But today was just not the putting day.”

Inbee, a two-time winner of this event, has her husband/caddie on the bag in steamy Singapore. After enjoying a strong day on the greens Thursday, Park said her husband bowed out of reading greens after about four holes on Friday, leaving her to it. She had 28 putts in the second round.

“I think he was maybe feeling sorry or not feeling confident,” said Inbee. “After that, I started reading my putts.

HSBC Women’s World Championship: Leaderboard

“Like I said, it is a little different to having a professional caddie obviously, but he definitely has a good side as well. I think it’s just good fun. I wouldn’t say he wants to do it all year. It’s just a once-a-year thing he needs to do. It’s going to be too hard on him. Watching from outside is probably a lot easier for him than watching it so close and being part of the game is quite different. So I don’t want to give him a hard time every weekend out.”

Brad Beecher has been on Park’s bag for almost the entirety of her professional career. With strict COVID-19 restrictions in place, the only way G.H. could travel with his wife was to caddie for her during the two-week Asian swing.

Inbee, who is looking for her 22nd career LPGA title, said Beecher has texted daily to offer support.

“Every day he’s been texting me and getting the cheers from him,” said Park. “Yeah, I’m sure he’s watching on TV and he said – we just told him how hard it is in this hot weather and he said it’s only going to get better as the day goes on, and I think he was pretty correct.”

Inbee and Hee Young graduated from the same middle school in South Korea. Hee Young, a three-time winner on the LPGA, is now in her 14th season on tour. She’s had two previous two-10 finishes at the HSBC in 10 appearances. Hee Young married Joe Joo-jong, a K-Pop music executive, in 2018, and said she and Inbee enjoyed talking about life outside of golf during Friday’s round.

“I’ve known her really long time, probably almost 20 years now,” said Hee Young. “Then now we’ve got both husband and play on the tour. A little bit of joking about we really, you know, hang out just husband and wife, only each other, feel a little different, but we really enjoyed it. A lot of personal talk a little bit out there. It makes it a little fun to play golf.”

Lydia Ko (68) and Hannah Green (66), two players who have shown terrific form in recent weeks, are tied for seventh, four strokes back.

“First off, there’s not as much wind,” said Ko when asked about scoring conditions, “so I think for a lot of the pin positions, you can be pretty aggressive with. I think when you’re on the green, even when it’s 30 feet, the greens are rolling so good that you’ve got a good chance of holing them.

“So I think the course just being in really good condition makes it a lot easier for us not having to judge, okay, is it going to bounce or what is it going to do. So from that point, it’s I think just really nice to play a golf course like that.”

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original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/04/30/lpga-hsbc-womens-world-inbee-park-putter-betrayal/

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