Michelle Wie stung by bee, Inbee Park withdraws in LPGA Tour opener

January 28, 2016

Alison Lee tied for lead with six others at five-under 68

By The Korea Times Los Angeles staff

World No. 2 Inbee Park withdrew from the LPGA Tour’s season opener Thursday in Bahamas after shooting her worst round in seven years, citing a back injury.

She said she’ll be taking a month off to recover.

Park shot a seven-over 80 at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic, the worst score in the field of 108 after one round. Park picked up four birdies, but also committed seven bogeys and two double bogeys at the par-73, 6,625-yard Ocean Club Golf Course on Paradise Island.

The bottom fell out over the back nine, where Park had five bogeys and one double bogey against just one birdie.

The last time Park failed to break an 80 at an LPGA event was the final round of the Wegmans LPGA in June 2009, when she carded a nine-over 81. It remains Park’s worst LPGA round.

“I’ve been dealing with some pains in my lower back, and things started getting worse a few weeks ago,” Park said. “I didn’t feel great today, but I hope I will feel better by the Thai tournament.”

The Honda LPGA Thailand starts on Feb. 25.

In all fairness, Park did tell the Golf Channel prior to this tournament that she wasn’t expecting much from herself because she’s always been a slow starter.

“Fall and winter, I’m horrible,” Park was quoted as saying. “Sometimes, in winter time when I play, I’m like, ‘You’re so bad.’”

Only two of Park’s 17 LPGA victories have come before April 1 to prove that point.

Michelle Wie had a tough day also. She got stung by a bee on the hand on the 16th hole, and finished with a three-over 76 to fall eight strokes behind Korean American Alison Lee and six others tied for the lead at five-under 68. 

Wie said the swelling made it hard to grip the club and her score went south (from even-par to three-over) from there all the way down to being tied for 87th.

Defending champion Sei-young Kim  is tied for 18th at two-under 71, along with Il-hee Lee and Chella Choi.