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Pak Beats Webb for LPGA Championship

Posted June. 13, 2006 03:08,   


The first extension was held on hole 18 (par 4, 385 yards). About 201 yards to the flag, Pak Se-ri (CJ) pulled out her utility wood instead of her four iron after a bungled tee shot with a three wood. It was still a distance too ambitious for a two-on, not to mention the water hazard on the left of the fairway and green. But the powerfully swung second shot flew off directly toward the pin and bounced a few times on the green before stopping 7cm away from the cup. A couple more rolls would have made an eagle. The gallery of some ten thousand heaved a sigh of admiration. Assured of victory, Pak raised both her arms and gave an uppercut in the air like Guus Hiddink at a soccer game.

As if disheartened by such prominent display of confidence from Pak, Kerrie Webb’s second shot from 132 yards landed 6 meters away from the hole. Webb’s birdie putt ran past the cup, while Pak made her birdie with a gentle tap.


From a sixth place tie two shots behind the lead, Pak propelled herself to the sole lead in one breath. However at the 18th hole, she ended up with three putts, allowing Webb to catch up. But the dramatic ending of the match ended with her as the victor.

Equally dramatic was the first year of Pak’s LPGA career. In 1998, her sponsor Samsung was about to call Pak back to Korea after an unimpressive start to the season. What made Pak stay in the U.S. game scene was her victory in this tournament. She went on a consistent winning streak afterward. This is Pak’s third win since 2002—oddly, she has reached the top in the years World Cup games were held. Park also continued her legacy of never losing a tiebreaker duel. In her LPGA career, Park has played in five, and all five times she came out a winner.

On the other hand, this year’s Nabisco Championship winner Kerrie Webb has lost three tiebreakers to Pak in the four tiebreaker losses she has suffered throughout her LPGA career.

Korean golfers have had an amazing streak of winning seven out of 14 LPGA tournament held this season. Three wins happened in past three weeks. For others who have participated in the playoff, Kim Mi-hyeon (KTF) tied for third place alongside Miyazato Ai with a 7 under par in 281 strokes, while Michelle Wie and Ahn Shi-hyeon tied for fifth with a 6 under par, 282 strokes. Annika Sorenstam, who was aiming for her fourth consecutive win, was held to a ninth place tie with 5 under par, 283 strokes.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com