Pak Wins Hall of Fame Awaits

By Sports NetworkMay 9, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Michelob Ultra Light OpenWILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Se Ri Pak fired a 6-under 65 on Sunday to come from behind and win the Michelob Ultra Open. She finished at 9-under-par 275 and defeated Lorena Ochoa and Juli Inkster by two shots at the River Course at Kingsmill Golf Club.
 
The win was Pak's first of the 2004 campaign and her 22nd since joining the LPGA Tour in 1998. The victory on Sunday qualified her for the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame, but she will not be enshrined until 2008. A golfer must have played 10 years on tour to qualify for the Hall of Fame.
 
'This means a lot,' said Pak, 26. 'This is what I worked so hard for the last seven years. Finally I've done it. Now I can feel free to play and hopefully enjoy it.'
 
Inkster posted a 4-under 67 on Sunday while Ochoa, who shared the third-round lead in an attempt to earn her first LPGA Tour title, only managed an even-par 71.
 
Hee-Won Han carded a 5-under 67 and tied for fourth place with Wendy Doolan. Doolan shot a 1-under 70 and joined Han at 4-under-par 280 on Sunday.
 
Michelle Wie, the 14-year-old amateur star, posted a 1-over 72 and tied for 13th place at even-par 144.
 
Pak, who trailed by four at the start of Sunday's final round, flew out of the gate with three birdies in her first five holes. She dropped a shot at the sixth, but Pak was near Ochoa's lead right before making the turn.
 
Pak sank a 20-foot, left-to-right breaker for birdie at the eighth, then holed a 4-footer for birdie at No. 9 to get within one of Ochoa's lead.
 
When Pak rolled home a 6-foot birdie putt at the 11th, she matched Ochoa in first at 8-under par. Ochoa dropped strokes to par at the ninth and 10th, leaving Pak alone atop the leaderboard.
 
Pak padded her advantage with a 12-foot birdie putt at the 14th. She missed the green in two at the par-5 15th, but chipped close and converted the birdie try. Ochoa bogeyed the 14th so Pak was comfortably out in front.
 
Inkster eagled the 15th, then birdied No. 17 to reach minus-7, but needed several miscues down the stretch from Pak. Inkster got one mistake from Pak as the newest Hall of Famer missed the green long and left at the 16th. Pak's chip came up 25 feet short and she missed the par putt to fall back to 9 under par.
 
Pak settled after the hiccup at 16. She had seven feet for birdie at 17 and 15 feet at the last but missed both. It would not matter as Ochoa did not make up any ground and Pak was on her way to the winner's circle.
 
'Golf's kind of funny,' said Pak, who pocketed $330,000 for the win. 'I was struggling earlier this week. Yesterday I started making more putts and my confidence came back.'
 
Cristie Kerr, who shared the lead with Ochoa after Saturday's third round, struggled to a 4-over 75 in Sunday's final round. She tied for sixth place with Mi-Hyun Kim, who shot a 2-under 69, at 3-under-par 281.
 
Annika Sorenstam, the top-ranked player in the game, carded an even-par 71 and shared eighth place with Pat Hurst and Helen Alfredsson, who both also shot 71s on Sunday. The trio came in at minus-2.
 
Karrie Webb fired a 67 for a solo 11th-place finish at minus-1 and 2003 winner Grace Park was among the group with Wie at even-par 284.
 
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.