Go to contents

A Pitiful Tie for Second Place

Posted August. 09, 2004 22:10,   


“If it rolled just one centimeter more….”

When Pak Se-ri (27, CJ) went for a 3m birdie putt on her 17th hole (par five), the ball swerved from left to the right as it aimed for the hole, but the ball made an early curve due to the lack of strength as it curled off away from the cup. The difference was merely one or two centimeters.

Pak almost fell on her back as she leaned backwards watching over the ball. She commented, “I thought it would go in.”

Before this moment, Pak was at the top of the leader board with a 6-under-par, tied with Meg Mallon (USA) and Karen Stupples (England) until the 16th hole. Pak could have led the group with the birdie putt.

Pak also missed a five-meter birdie putt on the 18th hole (par five), giving herself no way to close the gap. The failure to sink shots on the last two par-5 holes, which were the turning point of victory, turned out to be the losing factor.

Meg Mallon, who played in the latter group, sunk a three-meter birdie putt from the similar direction where Pak attempted her shot. With this big shot, the trophy was cuddled in the arms of the veteran.

Pak Se-ri and the British Open winner, Karen Stupples, took second place in the Jamie Farr Classic tour event (total prize money: $1.1 million).

In the last round of the competition, which took place at the Meadows GC (par 71) Highland in Sylvania, Ohio, USA on August 9, Pak recorded a 6-under, 278 with five birdies and two bogies. The victory went to the U.S. Open champion, 41 year-old Meg Mallon (seven-under-par, 277), who has notched three victories this season so far.

With this, Pak Se-ri’s chance to seize five championships in the same tournament, which would only be the second time in LPGA history, would be reserved for another occasion.

But Pak succeeded in escaping from her slump as she made her way into the top 10, having not done so in 9 previous tournaments since her victory in the Michelob Ultra Open in May. Pak commented “I’m happy that I’ve gained confidence after my match and got back to my style of play.”

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com