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Who Will Win? Pak Se-ri or Sorenstam?

Posted June. 03, 2003 22:00,   


LPGA Tour`s two superstars Pak Se-ri and Annika Sorenstam will compete for this season`s second championship.

The two golfers will play their best for this week`s four-day McDonald`s LPGA Championship in Delaware from June 5. With the prize of 240,000 dollars, they face a fierce competition for the top of the earnings list.

Each of them won two tour events out of 10 this year. As of June 3, the 32-year-old Swede ranked first with the earnings of 734,501 dollars, followed by Pak Se-ri with 562,900 dollars.

If Pak Se-ri wins the tour and Sorenstam ranks lower than fifth with the prize of 66,000 dollars, the Korean golf superstar will be back on the first place in a week. In addition, if she wins this championship, she is only one point away from the entrance to Hall of Honor (a total of 27 points).

How will the competition of the two rivals end up? In this place of Delaware, Pak has more advantages, experts say.

Pak won the championship as the youngest golfer at the age of 20 in this LPGA Tour in 1998 when she made her first appearance in the U.S. Furthermore, she won her second championship in this tour event last year.

Sorenstam with 44 LPGA Tour victories are recording her fourth major championships like Pak with 20 LPGA Tour victories. However, she has not won a LPGA championship since she advanced to the U.S. in 1992.

In particular, Sorenstam`s best performance placed third in 1997 and last year after the tour event was held here in Delaware in 1994. She has stayed away from the ranking of tenth in the rest of the events.

While Pak was absent, however, Sorenstam coasted to victory in the Kellogg-Keebler Classic right before this week`s McDonald`s LPGA Championship. Will she be able to produce more of the same at this week`s tour event as she won 11 championships last year? Or will Pak, who has been missing two PGA tours and training her in Orlando, Florida, in preparation for this event, speed up for the top of the earnings list with her two consecutive victories this year?

Among a total of 14 Korean golfers participating in this tour event, Kim Mi-hyun, Park Ji-eun, and Park Hee-jung will also contend for the major championship.

Young-Sik Ahn ysahn@donga.com