Still, her 3-under 68 on Friday was good enough to give her a five-stroke lead after two rounds. The four-time tournament winner is at 11-under 131.
She was satisfied with her second round after going 8 under on the first day, saying she was content to just limit her mistakes.
'I don't have any complaints,' Pak said. 'I'm not trying to go really low.'
She birdied two holes on the front nine and hit out of a left-side bunker on the 10th hole to within 3 feet of the cup to save par. Pak rolled in a 22-foot putt on No. 16 after posting her only bogey of the round.
Another South Korean with the same last name, Jin Young Pak, shot a 2 under to put her at 136, five strokes behind the leader. The rookie said she's never met Se Ri Pak even though they are from towns about four hours apart.
They'll be paired Saturday. The 21-year-old Pak admitted she'll be a little nervous playing with someone she grew up admiring.
'It's like a dream come true,' she said. 'She's a hero in Korea.'
Carri Wood (69) and Meg Mallon (65) were tied at 5 under after two rounds. Mallon put together the top score on Friday, with six birdies and no bogeys.
Wood earned a place in the Women's British Open as the top five LPGA Tour members after 36 holes who aren't exempt for the Open won spots in the Aug. 2-5 tournament at St. Andrews in Scotland.
'It's the birthplace of golf,' said Wood, who bogeyed her final hole when her putt hit a spike mark. 'Who wouldn't want to go over there and play.'
Wood, in her 11th year on the tour, has never finished in top 10. Her best showing came two years ago at the Farr Classic when she tied for 12th.
She said no one expected her to be in position to win.
'I think it would be a surprise to everybody else and me,' she said. 'I hope my game can hold up.'
Se Ri Pak, though, looks tough to beat. Twice she missed birdie putts that rolled around the cup, the last on No. 18.
'Those will happen,' she said with a shrug.
Jimin Kang (68) and Morgan Pressel (70) were four under and tied for fifth. Pressel had just two birdies.
'I was pretty messy,' she said. 'I was just trying to hang on.'
Angela Stanford hit the shot of the day, scoring an eagle when her wedge shot from 85 yards out hit in front of the pin and dribbled in on the par-4 fourth hole.
That propelled her near the top of the leaderboard until she bogeyed the final three holes, putting her eight shots behind the leader.
'I just started hitting the putts too hard,' she said.
Stanford (69) and seven others were tied at 3 under, including U.S. Open champion Cristie Kerr and Canada's Alena Sharp, who was just two shots back coming into the round. Sharp was 3 over on Friday.
Natalie Gulbis, who nearly won last year's tournament in a playoff, just made the cut set at 2 over par. She fell to 6 over on the front nine Friday before reeling off three straight birdies.
Gulbis made a short par putt on her final hole to stay around for the final rounds.
Missing the cut were Paula Creamer and Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez who finished at 19 over.
'I was having an out-of-body experience,' said Lopez, a fan favorite who managed to maintain a smile. 'I just have to keep trying.'