A nagging thumb injury that has hampered Inbee Park in the past few months may cost her a chance to compete in August’s Olympics at Rio de Janeiro, her agent said Wednesday.
“It remains to be seen whether she can compete in the Olympic Games,” Park’s agent, David Kim, told AFP. “It will depend on the condition of her injury.”
Park, the 27-year-old Korean who dropped to third in the world behind Lydia Ko and Brooke Henderson after Henderson defeated Ko in a playoff at last Sunday’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, withdrew from two tournaments in May because of the injury. She shot 72-79 and missed the cut at the Women’s PGA, a start that qualified her for the LPGA Hall of Fame.
Park will miss this week’s Meijer LPGA Classic in Michigan, Kim said. Park herself indicated last week that she will forsake the Olympics if she is not healthy come August.
“If I’m not at my full condition, I kind of feel like I need to give a chance to somebody else who can perform so much better than me at the moment,” Park said.
The competition to make South Korea’s Olympic women’s team has been fierce, with Park and five compatriots ranked among the world’s top 11 players. The top 15 qualify for the Olympics, with a limit of four players per country. SEE CURRENT WOMEN OLYMPIC QUALIFIERS
Currently, the South Korean women’s squad would consist of third-ranked Park, Sei Young Kim (No. 5), In Gee Chun (No. 6) and Amy Yang (No. 8). If Park were to step aside, tenth-ranked Ha-Na Jang would qualify for Rio, though No. 11 So Yeon Ryu is right on her heels.