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Friday, July 12, 2013

Inbee Goes for 4 in a Row

It's positively insane! If you aren't watching the LPGA event this week (GC will broadcast the second round at 12:30pm ET today), you are missing something amazing.

Here's the deal: Inbee Park is going for 4 wins in 4 consecutive starts. That's been done before, of course -- Lorena Ochoa did it last. (In 2008 I think...but her run only had one major, not 2 majors like Inbee's.) Anyway, Inbee is obviously having to deal with umpteen questions about "how do you concentrate on this tournament when you could win 4 majors in a row?" and other questions all guarenteed to make her think about that very thing. It's got to be a huge mental drain, right?

But you wouldn't know it by the first round at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic (that's in Canada, btw). She's tied at -6 with 4 other players, 2 behind Catriona Matthew and Angela Stanford. Matthew's 8-under 63 (the course is par 71) is the lowest score of her career.

By comparison, Inbee's 65 is her lowest score of the season by 2 strokes! As the announcers noted, that can't be making her fellow competitors feel any better.

The irony of it all is that Inbee said -- in response to a question about possible bad play -- that she keeps expecting a bad round. That's just the way golf is, she said, so she's ready to have a bad day or week... and then get back to playing good golf again. Everybody had a good laugh about her being ready for a bad round --although she DID make it clear that she didn't want a bad round, she was just ready for one.

Perhaps that's something us weekend golfers can learn from. Inbee is in a position to get absolutely buried under pressure, but she isn't putting extra pressure on herself. She focuses on what she can do, realizes that she won't be great every day...

And then goes out and beats her best round of the year by 2. Okay, that's not a realistic expectation for the rest of us, but it's a good plan of attack. She doesn't try to "follow up a good round with another good round"; she just tries to play the best she can each day she plays.

We should all play so well. I know I won't be betting against Inbee this week.

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