Go to contents

Se-Ri Fulfills Her Dreams

Posted May. 10, 2004 22:13,   


"My dream came true."

When ESPN sports channel commentator Pearl Shin caught up with her after the match to ask how she felt about qualifying for the Hall of Fame, a teary Pak Se-ri (27•CJ) answered, " I`m deeply touched that my name will remain in the LPGA hall of fame forever.”

Pak has just completed her seventh LPGA tour since 1998. This championship marks her twenty-second career victory; only this time it’s a bigger victory than ever since it gained her entrance to the Hall.

Pak satisfied the 27 points necessary to qualify for the Hall of Fame and will become the first Asian to have her name saved for posterity in the Hall upon completing her tenth year in the LPGA at the end of the 2007 season.

Pak Se-Ri began the final round of the LPGA tour Michelob Ultra Open at KingsMill GC, in Williamsburg, Virginia on the tenth hole (with prize money mounting up to $2.2 million) in sixth place with three under par from the day before. She ultimately earned her first win of the season in a dramatic fashion when she reversed the game against co-second-place-holders, Lorena Ochoa (Mexico) and Juli Inkster (USA• 7 under par, 277), by hitting six under par, with 65 in the round to total nine under par, 275.

Pak Se-Ri, recorded five birdies and a bogie in the ninth hole to cut down four strokes in the opening part of the game, and also picked up a birdie in the eleventh (par 4) hole to put her name on the leader board with eight under par.

The fifteenth hole (par 5) settled the match when Pak gripped the wood and aimed for the 266 yard green after teeing the ball to the fairway with a driver. The ball went over the green and fell in the fringe but Pak placed the ball within 10 cm of the hole with her third chip shot, earning a birdie.

Meanwhile, Ochoa committed a fatal bogie in the fourteenth hole (par 4) and fell down to six under par to create a four stroke difference with Pak who passed her ten under par when she sunk a birdie in the fifteenth and her victory was solidified. "Misfortune Rookie of the Year" Ochoa, who ended up second place three times last year, felt a deep loss at the almost-won match, shedding tears after the eighteenth hole.

Pak jumped to third place on the LPGA year`s prize money list with $477,886, following only Annika Sorenstam (Sweden•$546,483) and Park Ji-Eun (Nike Golf•$538,725) when she added $330,000, the third highest amount in the LPGA tour. She has earned $7,500,000 in LPGA Tour for seven years.

Defending champion Park Ji-Eun and ‘Golf prodigy’ Michelle Wie (Korean name: Wie Sung-Mi) tied for twelfth place with an even par.

Meanwhile, Pak Se-Ri and Park Ji-Eun will return home on May 11 to participate in the KLPGA season opener MBC-XCANVAS which will take place in 88CC starting on May 13.

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com