Unbelievable is a word often used to describe defending JTBC Classic presented by Barbasol champion Inbee Park. But her fans have a better word for her: “Inbee-lievable”. With 21 career victories and seven major championships, it’s an apt moniker, and one that the Korean likes so much that it’s now her Instagram handle, an account the 33-year-old just recently created.
“I think one of my fans nicknamed me “Inbeelievable” so I thought that was a pretty good nickname,” said Park, who is No. 6 currently in the Rolex Rankings. “This year a lot of my friends were just asking me, ‘Why are you not on Instagram?’ My whole 16 years on Tour I was never on Instagram. I had Instagram for like a year or so a long time ago, but my account got hacked, and after that I decided I just wouldn’t do it. This year, I don't know why after 16 years, I decided to just have some fun.”
Park is sure to have just that this week in Carlsbad, Calif. at Aviara Golf Club. In addition to her win in 2021, Park has finished in the top 10 at the JTBC Classic five times in 11 starts, including three solo second-place finishes in 2010, 2016 and 2019. But she’s looking hard at the greens this week and Inbee will be paying close attention to the tricky Poa annua that’s always proven to be a challenge at the JTBC Classic. Even the best of putters still have things to work on and Park is no exception to that rule, grinding over her six footers and focusing on proper speed.
“It's the greens that get a lot of people this week, and I'm trying to minimize my mistakes on the greens,” said Park, who has made the second-highest rate of putts on the LPGA Tour from 10-20 feet since the 2021 LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship. “The greens are very tough and they're Poa annua so they're not consistent. You have to watch your speed really well and don't get to frustrated even if you miss shorter putts. Think we'll see a lot of that this week.
“You can't really take it personally on the greens. I remember a couple years when I four-putted on these greens and as hard as it is, I just had to keep saying that it wasn't you who four-putted. It was the greens. It is hard to go like that, but I try to be patient. I’m trying to have the right speed, so no matter what distances I’m putting from, I try to have tap-ins. That worked well last year so I think I'm going to stick with that strategy.”