It's been a rough week so far for the top two players in women's golf.
World No. 2 Inbee Park withdrew from the tournament on Thursday, citing a lingering finger injury. Park opened with 3-over 75, then pulled out of the event, telling the LPGA she has been dealing with a cyst on the middle finger of her left hand for about three weeks. Park hasn't said when she'll play next, but there are only three events left on the LPGA schedule.
Last week, Park lost the No. 1 ranking to Ko, who won the LPGA's Fubon Championship in Taiwan while Park was competing in a concurrent KLPGA event. Ko's victory also propelled her into the lead in the points-based Player of the Year race. Ko also has an edge for the Vare Trophy, the Tour's scoring average award.
Lydia Ko opened this week's Blue Bay LPGA in China with a rare pair of consecutive over-par rounds, shooting 77-75 in difficult conditions on Hainan Island. However, at least Ko, who went off as a startling 2-to-1 favorite this week, will get to finish the tournament.
After this week, the Toto Japan Classic and Lorena Ochoa Invitational lead into the CME Group Tour Championship, which will also decide the season-long points race, the Race to the CME Globe.