Lexi Thompson once again on cusp of World No. 1 ranking

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Lexi Thompson once again on cusp of World No. 1 ranking

LPGA Tour

Lexi Thompson once again on cusp of World No. 1 ranking

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Lexi Thompson is once again on the cusp of becoming the No. 1 player in the world. A share of second place at last week’s Honda LPGA Thailand event moved her up two slots to No. 2 in the world, behind China’s Shanshan Feng.

The top three players in the world – Feng, Thompson and Sung Hyun Park – will tee off at 10:30 a.m. at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore.

“This year, you know, I think everybody wants to be No. 1 in the world,” said Thompson. “It’s always our goal. But you have to take it one tournament at a time. All you can control is your game, your attitude and what you do out here. That’s really all I’m trying to focus on is just have more fun out on the golf course with my caddie, Kevin.”

Thompson said the greens at Sentosa Golf Club were “absolutely perfect.” Last November she had a chance to become No. 1 in the world with a victory at the CME Group Tour Championship but missed a 2-foot par putt on the 72nd hole. Thompson finished second six times in 2017.

“The way I look at it is that I’m human and putts are going to be missed,” said Thompson, “and I still won the Race to the CME Globe. That’s the way I look at it.”

Another major storyline in Singapore this week is the return of Inbee Park, who hasn’t competed on the LPGA since last year’s Ricoh Women’s British Open due to injury. Park won last year’s HSBC event coming off a long layoff, much like she did at the 2016 Olympics when she took gold. Expectations are high for the LPGA Hall of Famer.

Park said she’d like to win another major (she has seven) in her 12th year on tour and enjoy herself more inside the ropes.

“I tried to stay relaxed but like I said, it’s harder to do than to say,” said Park. “I always say, I’ve achieved a lot of things now and you can be easy on yourself and you can relax. I say all those things, all those nice things to myself, but whenever I go out on the course, I really forget everything about it, and then I just feel like I’m a rookie again on the golf course.”

Park interrupted her preseason training in Las Vegas to fly back to South Korea to take part in the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics. Park said was asked to be one of the final torch bearers about three weeks beforehand but had to keep it a secret. The athletes rehearsed at 12 a.m. to keep it confidential.

Most of Park’s athletic achievements have taken place away from South Korea. This was a rare time when she could be honored at home in front of a global, mainstream audience.

“I felt so much more pressure that I wouldn’t feel in golf,” said Park of carrying the torch. “Yeah, it was maybe 60, 70 yards too long. I was afraid maybe I was going to fall or I was afraid I was going to maybe be doing something I shouldn’t be doing.”

She was flawless.

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