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“Goal Is Grand Slam… Getting into Shape”

Posted March. 13, 2002 09:40,   


“The goal is always for the title, but I won’t force myself to cross any limit.”

Park Se-Ri (25. Samsung Electronics) is to participate in her season’s first U.S. LPGA tournament, Ping Banner Health (total prize of 100 million dollar), which will open on the 14th. Unlike last year, she has emptied out her heart this time.

Usually, season’s first matches create pressure that `something big has to be shown`, but she is to focus only on controlling her conditions for the youngest `grand slam` title in this season’s first major tournament, Nabisco Championship, which will be held 2 weeks later.

After completing her 2 month-winter training, Park is approximately 90 Per Cent in full shape. She plans to be 100 Per Cent prepared by playing for 2 weeks in a row, including next week’s Welch’s/Circle K Championship.

The tournament will be the first battlefield of the `Big 3` of international ladies golf, including Park, Annika Sorenstam (Sweden), and Kerrie Webb (Australia), since Samsung World Championship in last October.

Especially, the winner of this season’s opening tournament (Takefuji Classic), Sorenstam, had won last year’s tournament that was held at the same place (Phoenix Moon Valley CC, Arizona) with the record of 27-under 261. She also set the historical record of 13-under 59 in the second round.

However, Park also hit 27-under 263 to win the second position, which proves her advantage at Moon Valley CC also. She already moved to Phoenix with her exclusive caddie Collin Khan on the 7th to prepare for the tournament. “If a chance comes, I’ll go for the title since the course is just my style. But I don’t want to miss the opportunity for youngest grand slam title that only comes once in life time, because of over-playing.”

Meanwhile, various Korean players, including `Koala` Park Hee-Jung (22), Park Ji-Eun (23. Ihwa Women’s Univ.), Kim Mi-Hyun (25. KTF), and Han Hee-Won (24. Fila Korea), are also to participate.

Young-Sik Ahn ysahn@donga.com