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Friday, June 10, 2016

Inbee Park Qualifies for the LPGA Hall of Fame

In case you missed it yesterday, Inbee Park qualified for the LPGA Hall of Fame when she finished her first round at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship.

Michael Whan congratulates Inbee after her round

Here is what says are the criteria for the LPGA Hall of Fame.
Active players:
To qualify for entrance into the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame, members of the LPGA Tour, who were active in 1998 and going forward, must meet the criteria outlined below. An LPGA Tour member who was active prior to 1998 and has since been inactive for more than five years would be eligible for the Veteran's Category. Entrance to the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame is limited to LPGA Tour members who meet the following criteria:
  1. Must be/have been an "active" LPGA Tour member for 10 years
  2. Must have won/been awarded at least one of the following - an LPGA major championship, the Vare Trophy or Rolex Player of the Year honors; and
  3. Must have accumulated a total of 27 points, which are awarded as follows - one point for each LPGA official tournament win, two points for each LPGA major tournament win and one point for each Vare Trophy or Rolex Player of the Year honor earned.
Inbee got her 27th point when she won the Vare (scoring) Trophy for the second time at the end of last year. All she needed to do then was get ten seasons with ten starts, which she did Thursday. She is only the 24th player to qualify, and at age 27 she's the youngest to do so.

Here is the 15 minute press conference she did after she finished her round and was greeted by Mike Whan, Se Ri Pak, Annika, and all the other well-wishers:

Of course, now the speculation will start. While Inbee intends to finish this major and try to win it, which would make her fourth time in a row (that would be three successful title defenses!), apparently her thumb injury can only be healed through rest. Will she play in the International Crown or the Olympics? Will she consider retiring completely to start a family?

Personally, I don't think she'll retire. At the very least, I think she wants to win the Evian and shut up her critics. As for the Crown and Olympics... those are probably up in the air, depending on how quickly her thumb heals.

But I'm sure she'll take some time to celebrate this accomplishment. Congratulations on achieving a dream that few ever manage, Inbee!!!

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