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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Inbee Takes Over as #1 at a New Event

This week Inbee Park and her caddie Brad Beecher will resume a familiar role -- that of #1 in the world. (The photo shows Park and Beecher at her last event with the bib.) Inbee's return to the top after a couple of years struggling with injury has been amazing.

And now she gets to start all over again at a brand new event,  the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship.

Inbee and her caddie with World #1 bib

The event may be new but the venue isn't. Lake Merced Golf Club hosted an LPGA event from 2014 to 2016, the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, but the sponsors moved the event to their home in Taiwan. Now Korean skin-care company Mediheal (which I Googled and found they make facial masks) has taken over the event. Lydia Ko won the first two events played here and Haru Nomura the last one.

As best I can tell, Nomura is not in the field, so I guess Ko is the closest to a defending champion that we can find.

Tony Jesselli has a nice preview here, so I won't bore you with details he has already covered. But it's pretty clear that the big storyline this week is Inbee's return to the #1 spot in the Rolex Rankings, despite a widespread belief that this dominating but understated player wouldn't be able to find the motivation to take on the kids. She just continues to amaze us all.

I love it!

GC's live coverage begins Thursday night at 6:30pm ET, which is becoming something of a standard for them when the LPGA is playing the West Coast. I, for one, am interested in seeing what Inbee does, given her previous finishes here at T4 (2014) and T18 (2015). She didn't play in 2016, the year the injury problems became evident.

One thing's for sure -- the LPGA has not been at a loss for storylines so far this year, and this event is no different.

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