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Pak Se-ri’s Awful Slump

Posted July. 25, 2004 22:12,   


Four double-bogeys, including two out-of-bounds shots, two bogeys, a birdie and a final score of 81.

This is not the scorecard of a weekend golfer. It the shocking score of Pak Se-ri (CJ), the so called ‘queen of golf,’ on July 24, during the third round of the LPGA’s Evian Masters, which is being held in Evian, France. It was her worst performance since she hit an 82 during the last round of last year’s U.S. Women’s Open.

Her father Pak Joon-chul (53) said, “It is the first time for Se-ri, throughout her career in Korea and the LPGA, to have four double-bogeys in a single round.”

During this tournament, Pak scored a 13 over-par 301, and placed 68th, which is almost at the bottom of the 77 players. During the four days of the tournament, Pak scored 73-73-81-74: not a single under-par performance. She temporarily came back to Korea last July 13 and left for Europe after a week of rest, but the results have been just terrible.

Pak has reserved her place in the hall of fame after winning the Michelob Ultra Open in May, but has not placed in the top-ten in her seven tournaments afterwards. The reason behind her poor performance is her driver. Her fairway hitting percentage during the Evian Masters was a mere 66 percent, hitting only 37 of the 56 driver shots. Pak’s fairway hitting percentage during this LPGA season is 62.1 percent, which places her at 152nd place, or at the near bottom.

When Pak’s father was asked, “Isn’t Se-ri’s sudden slump related to a guy problem?” he responded, “If that was the problem, I wouldn’t sit still.’ In addition, he added, “Se-ri is also uneasy because she can’t find a reason, but in a phone call a few days ago she consoled me not to worry and wait.”

Due to the terrible slump that hit her for the first time, in her seven-year LPGA career, Pak’s prospects for the Women’s British Open, which will start on July 29, are not bright.

On the other hand, the winner of the Evian Masters, which finished on July 25, was Australian Wendy Doolan, who scored an 18 under-par 270 and beat Swedish player Annika Sorenstam, who scored a 17 under 271, by a single stroke to win her third career tournament. Doolan came back from a 5-shot deficit in the last round by hitting a 7 under-par 65.

Out of the Korean players, last year’s runner-up Han Hee-won (Fila, Korea) had the best finish, placing 6th (9 under-par 279), while Michelle Wie (Korean name Wie Sung-mi) placed a joint 33rd (1 under-par 287).

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com