Shortly after completing my last post, I got to follow recent Hall of Fame inductee Se Ri Pak for 9 holes.
Se Ri may have the biggest impact on pro golf today. More than Tiger Woods. The reason is simple, for her success on the LPGA Tour has inspired many South Korean(And even Korean-American) girls to take up golf as a career. At present there are 45 South Korean players on tour. More are coming, and the Korean-American impact will soon be felt when people like Kimberly Kim(Affectionately known as K2) and Michelle Wie among others join the tour.
On Monday Se Ri was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. An honor she richly deserved. If Se Ri retired today, her 24 wins, 5 majors, and role as a pioneer, are more than sufficient for Hall of Fame status. At only thirty years of age, Se Ri could still have many good years ahead.
Right now, Se Ri isn’t 100% as she prepares for the start of the ADT tomorrow. Last weekend at the Tournament of Champions, Se Ri suffered a hip injury. One that caused her to withdraw after three rounds of play.
While watching Se Ri today, she showed no outward sign of being hurt. Her play was solid, but nothing exceptional. She hit a sand wedge to three inches on the par four 6th but put one in the drink at the Par 3 7th.(A treacherous hole that I’ve seen many LPGA pros have trouble at in the five years I been coming to the ADT. The waterfall 17th may be better known, but the 7th may be just as tough) When asked, Se Ri told me her hip was better but still bothering her.
Se Ri’s best finish at the ADT since it began being played at Trump International, was 5th in 2003. Its hard to dismal Se Ri as a potential winner Sunday. I think it will all depend on how her hip holds up over the coming days.
Some Se Ri facts
*- She and Juli Inkster are the only players to win 2 major championships as a rookie.
*- She is 5-0 in playoffs. The best record on the LPGA tour.
*- At the 1999 Jamie Farr, Se Ri won the biggest playoff in LPGA history. A six player affair. She defeating Karrie Webb, Kelli Kuehne, Mardi Lunn, Sherri Steinhauer, and Carin Koch on the first hole of sudden death.
*- At the 1998 Jamie Farr, Se Ri shot a second round 61. At the time that was the lowest 18 hole round in LPGA history. Since then Se Ri has won the Farr four more times. Only two other players in LPGA history have won the same event five times.
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