13 Jan 2020 | Vic Open | Women's Australian Open |

Inbee Park to play Aussie summer of golf

by Martin Blake

Inbee Park will play the Vic Open and Women's Open next month.
Inbee Park will play the Vic Open and Women's Open next month.

One of the greatest players in the history of women’s golf is coming back to play in Australia for the first time in six years.

Inbee Park, the quietly-spoken South Korean superstar who has won seven major championships and an Olympic Gold medal in 2016, has committed to play the ISPS Handa Vic Open at 13th Beach and the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open at Royal Adelaide next month.

Park, 31, has not played in any Australian tournament since the 2014 Australian Ladies Masters in Queensland. Her previous and only appearance in a Women’s Australian Open was in 2012 at Royal Melbourne, where she missed the cut. She has never played the Vic Open.

The world No. 15 has a record that puts her in the top echelon of players through history – a hall of fame career.

The Korean has won 19 LPGA Tour events and seven majors as well as spending time as No. 1 in the world, as recently as 2018. Injuries and exhaustion from years of touring forced her into a lull in 2016, but she has more recently returned to some of her best form.

She enters the 2020 LPGA Tour season ranked fourth on the career money list with $US15,356,126 in career earnings, third-most among active LPGA Tour players. Her seven majors put her alongside legends like Juli Inkster and Karrie Webb, with only Patty Berg (15), Mickey Wright (13), Louise Suggs (11), Babe Zaharias (10), Annika Sorenstam (10) and Betsy Rawls (eight) ahead of that number.

Park last week was named as the LPGA’s Player of the Decade, beating Brooke Henderson of Canada in a popular vote compiled online as the best player of the period 2010-2019.

She said she was excited to be returning to Australia after a few years.

“I am so excited to be going back to Australia for these two tournaments in February. This is my first time in the country for a few years and I have heard so much about the Vic Open with its men’s and women’s fields, as well as good memories from my previous visits for the Australian Open.”

ISPS Handa Executive Director, Midori Miyazaki, said Park would add talent and class to the fields at the ISPS Handa Vic Open and the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.

“Inbee Park’s return to these events is testament to how significant these tournaments are,” said Miyazaki.

“We’re delighted to see Inbee back in Australia and we look forward to the wonderful events at 13th Beach and Royal Adelaide this February.”

Tickets are officially on sale for both championships and will be broadcast on ABC on all four days.

The ISPS Handa Vic Open is proudly supported by the Victorian Government. The tournament is sanctioned by the LPGA Tour and ALPG Tour (Women's) & European Tour and ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia (Men's).

The ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open is supported by the South Australian Government through Events South Australia. The tournament is fully sanctioned by the LPGA Tour and the ALPG.

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