In 2015, we were talking about Inbee Park's future as a seven-time major winner. This year, she's talking about retirement.
It's been an odd year for the 28-year-old South Korean, who hasn't played since missing the cut at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Sahalee in June, the day after she played the round that secured her induction into the LPGA Hall of Fame with 10 years of service. Since then, she's missed the U.S. Women's Open and the Women's British Open, trying to recover from a nagging left thumb injury that has bothered her from the very start of the season. However, she did play two weeks ago at a sponsor tournament on the KLPGA Tour in South Korea.
Despite the rocky season, she never wavered on playing in the Olympics as one of four South Koreans in the field, and Park said Tuesday that she's made progress on the injury front.
“It has been going very well, and I'm going to have to maybe do an MRI again after this week, because I have been practicing very hard the last month or so,” Park said in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the women's Olympic golf tournament on Wednesday. “But as far as right now, I feel pretty good.”
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Despite that improvement, Park didn't stomp out chatter that she could be retiring sooner than later. Park has said she wants to have children in the coming years, and golf will take a back seat to being a mother.
“I'd like to have a family soon and that's probably my priority maybe the next couple years,” she said. “I really don't know what's going to happen. If I have a baby or after I have a family, whether I'm going to come back or not come back. I'm just in between how to plan the rest of my career.”
Park said she intends to play in The Evian Championship, the LPGA's final major of the year, in September. Even on that commitment, Park hedged.
"After this week, I'm going to have to see how I feel and if I feel good," she said, "definitely that's one that I'm really looking forward to playing."