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Inbee Park aims to get back on track at Canadian Women’s Open

Inbee Park won women's U.S. Open earlier this year. (The Canadian Press)Probably the biggest question surrounding this week's CN Canadian Women's Open, besides how big the mosquitoes will be at Edmonton's Royal Mayfair Golf Club, is which Inbee Park will show up.

Will it be the woman who has dominated the LPGA this season, the women's golf equivalent of Serena Williams, Tiger Woods or Iron Man? Or will it be the somewhat shaky golfer who folded under the pressure at the women's British Open and hacked her way to a 42nd-place finish?

If you're in the habit of betting on women's golf, put a few dollars on the former. Not that we tend to encourage that kind of behaviour, but Park is just too good a golfer to struggle the way she did at St. Andrews two weeks ago.

The 25-year-old South Korean has admitted that she succumbed to pressure of trying to become the first golfer to win four consecutive majors in the same year.

"I feel like I'm ready, and feel like all the pressure is off," she told The Canadian Press this week. "I feel like I'm starting new now."

That's bad news for the rest of the field. Park has six tournament wins this season, three more than the LPGA's next highest-ranked golfer. She has also been in the top 10 eight times and taken home more than $2-million in prize money.

She was also the top professional at last year's Canadian Open, finishing behind amateur Lydia Ko.

The woman closest to Park in the rankings, American Stacy Lewis, has to be considered a top contender. Many believe her solid performance in winning the British Open will serve as a great launching pad for Royal Mayfair.

You can't count out Norwegian Suzann Pettersen, who has one win and eight top-10 finishes this year or two of Park's fellow Koreans, fourth-ranked I.K. Kim and fifth-rated So Yeon Ryu.

Another golfer to watch is Sweden's Caroline Hedwall, who is coming off an overpowering performance at last week's Solheim Cup. She won all five of her matches in leading the Europeans to victory and although she hasn't won on the LPGA tour this year, does have five wins on the other side of the Atlantic.

Then there's England's teenage sensation Charley Hull, who won two Solheim Cup matches at the tender age of 17.

Of course, Hull's practically a grizzled veteran compared to defending champion Ko. While it would be a bit much to expect back-to-back Canadian Open titles from a 16-year-old, there are many who believe the New Zealander could do it.

She's had an impressive season, with four top 10 finishes on the LPGA tour. The Korean-born golfer also won the New Zealand Women's Open and finishing third at the Women's Australian Open.

Not bad for a girl after who just became old enough to drive both on the course and on the roads.

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