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Se Ri Pak On Her Way to First Victory in Korea

Posted May. 16, 2003 21:49,   


“By all means, I`d like to win this tournament by giving my best until the very last day!”

Se Ri Pak (26, CJ), `the fervor`, has safely finished her first day at the currently troubling national tournament.

The first round of the 2003 MBC XCanvas Women`s Open (total prize of 150 million won) was held at the South Course (par 72 – 6177 yards) of the 88 CC in Yongin City, Gyeonggi Province on May 16. Se Ri Pak had a hard time adjusting to the different greens as she is used to playing on American golf courses, and committed a couple of approach shot misses. She still took co 2nd place with 3 under par and 69 hits with 4 birdies and 1 bogey.

The first place runner-up (5 under par with 67 hits) is a `new face` in the game. Seong-A Yim (19, FILA Korea) was a gold medalist during team play at last year`s Asian Games held in Busan. Seong-A Yim who placed first at the 2001 Tigerpools Toto Tournament as an amateur, held on to 7 birdies and recorded just 2 bogeys despite the condition of the greens that day.

Se Ri Pak who teed off with the `twin carriage` of national soil, Il Mi Jeong (Hansol Home Tech) and Mi Na Yi (22) in the last group, got her first birdie on the third hole (154 yards) with par 3. As Il Mi Jeong and Mi Na Yi successfully achieved 8-meter and 7-meter birdie putts respectively in the beginning, Se Ri Pak immediately made up for the strokes with a countermove 5 meter birdie putt.

With the rising curve, Se Ri Pak successfully hit a difficult 5-meter downhill birdie putting on the 4th hole (par 5) but was held back on the 5th hole (par 4) by committing a bogey with 2 putts. She once again however, got continuous birdies on the 10th (par 5) and 11th (par 4) holes.

“It is true that the last couple of weeks have been difficult for me since the golf course had extreme slopes. However, I was strengthened by the gallery which has come out since the first day of the tournament,” Se Ri Pak clarified after the first day.

“The short games around the green were especially difficult. Because the balls were floating on the grass, I had a difficult time adjusting to distance and it wasn`t easy to put spin on the ball,” she explained.

Se Ri Pak`s drives were about 20 yards longer than the drives of Il Mi Jeong and Mi Na Yi on average but she only had one birdie on the 10th hole among the four par 5 holes.

“I think two perfect shots may be possible in the remaining 3 holes besides the 18th hole. I`ll play offensively in the remaining two days of the tournament,” she said, demonstrating her strong will to win.

Se Ri Pak has been participating in national tournaments once or twice a year since she entered the U.S. LPGA in 1998, but has yet won any tournaments in the KLPGA. The victory at last year`s CJ Nine Bridge Tournament held on Jeju Island was a U.S. LPGA Tournament.

Young-Sik Ahn ysahn@donga.com