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Three Big Shots on Green

Posted March. 21, 2003 22:23,   


Se Ri Pak dashed out alone in the first round of the 2003 Safeway Ping, this season`s second tournament of the U.S. LPGA Tour.

Pak shot a 7-under, 65 in the first round held yesterday at the Moon Valley Country Club, in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. She also recorded one bogey and 8 birdies.

Just behind Pak was Karrie Webb. Then, Annika Sorenstam, who wants to play with the men in May, ranked third with Ji E. Park. Looking at the results, heated competition is expected.

Starting her round at the 10th hole, Pak sparked momentum with three consecutive birdies from the 11th to the 13th. On the 11th, she made a successful 10m putt and drove the ball just 1m away from the cup, which led to another easy birdie. Again on the 13th hole, she drove a 240-yard shot onto the green with her wood, and snatched up yet another birdie with a solid putt.

Pak, however, bogeyed in the 16th with a tee shot landing in the bunker. She made up for the loss in the first hole with a birdie, and got ahead with successful birdies on the 4th to 6th holes.

On the ninth, she made a successful 5m birdie, pulling Karrie Webb down to second who finished up her round earlier.

Pak exceeded in all respects: 71.4% of her balls landed on the fairway and 83.3% stopped on the green, and made a total number of 27 putts.

Pak said, "I hastily got a driver last week. But I felt a little uncomfortable with it, and had a hard time. I felt really great about getting a birdie in the last hole. I will maintain momentum until the end."

Annika Sorenstam, who made a big record in 2001 at the same course, drove the ball about an average of 280 yards. In preparation for the U.S. PGA Tour, she has concentrated on building up muscle. Despite her fluctuations in putting, she showed what it means to be the world`s best.

In the meanwhile, Kim Young stopped short at the rank of 97, and Kim Cho-rong at 111th, placing both on the brink of disqualification.

Young-Sik Ahn ysahn@donga.com