Hot Pak is Back to Defend

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KUTZTOWN, Pa. ' Se Ri Pak has her eye on defending her third LPGA title of the season at the Wachovia LPGA Classic hosted by Betsy King and in the process is ready to win her fourth tournament of 2003 and the champions share of the $1.2 million purse.
 
Pak is second on the ADT Official Money list as the year is winding down to nine official tournaments before the season-ending ADT Championship, Nov. 20-23, which is comprised of the top-30 money winners of the year.
 
Tournament host Betsy King joins Beth Daniel as the two LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame members that highlight the field, along with four past tournament winners.
 
Since the tournaments first year in 1996, the event has seen five different winners, including Heather Daly-Donofrio (2001), Michele Redman (2000) and Mi-Hyun Kim (1999), who are playing this year.
 
Annika Sorenstam won the first two years, while Rachel Teske won the 1998 event.
 
The field also includes eight winners from this season: Wendy Doolan; Candie Kung; Hilary Lunke; Patricia Meunier-Lebouc; Grace Park; Angela Stanford; Pak; and Daniel. Five of the top-10 players on the ADT Official Money list are in the field, with Park the highest-ranked at second.
 
The 2003 season has seen four Rolex First-Time Winners and four playoffs.
 
Stanford, last years Wachovia LPGA Classic hosted by Betsy Kings runnerup, has been part of each category. She became a Rolex First-time Winner at the ShopRite LPGA Classic and lost to Lunke in the 18-hole, sudden-death playoff at the U.S. Womens Open.
 
Suzy Whaley is playing on a sponsors exemption just three weeks after becoming the first woman since 1945 to qualify for and play in a PGA Tour event at the Greater Hartford Open.
 
Last year, Pak recorded her third win of the 2002 season with scores of 70-68- 66-63=267 and set a new tournament record with her 21-under-par performance. Pak beat runner-up Stanford by three shots and Karrie Webb by five. Paks final-round 63, her season best, tied the low 18-hole score for the 2002 season on a par-72 course.
 
Pak also set a tournament record, bettering the previous 72-hole record set by Sorenstam in 1996 by three shots. Pak started the final round at 12- under-par, three shots behind thirdround leader Michelle Ellis, and was able to secure her victory with four consecutive birdies on the final four holes of play.
 
On the 18th hole, Pak kept the crowd excited after she hit her second shot just by the hole from 200 yards for a near double-eagle. She went on to two-putt for birdie and the two-shot victory.
 
Webb and Stanford kept a tight race with Pak, and Stanfords solid play (68- 70-66-66=270) throughout the week enabled her to post her best finish of the 2002 season.
 
Related Links:
  • Wachovia LPGA Classic
  • More LPGA Tour Preview Information