Pak Hopes to Build on Momentum

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JEJU ISLAND, South Korea -- Se Ri Pak is no stranger to defending LPGA Tour titles. Pak, who has won 21 times on the LPGA Tour, enters the CJ Nine Bridges Classic Presented by Sports Today ready to defend for the fourth time this year.
 
Pak has won three times this season and is ranked second on the ADT Official Money List, behind only Annika Sorenstam.
 
Pak highlights the 69-player field, which consists of 50 players from the LPGA Tour, the top 12 points leaders from the KLPGA, the top two money winners from the LPGA of Japan and five sponsor invitations, including Aree Song and the youngest player in the field, Michelle Wie, who turned 14 on Oct. 11.
 
Six of the top 10 and 11 of the top 20 from the ADT Official Monday List will compete, while nine of the players participating from the LPGA Tour are from the host country, South Korea.
 
Ranked second, third and fourth, respectively, are South Koreans Pak, Grace Park and Hee-Won Han.
 
Trailing Sorenstam by 102.46 points in the Rolex Player of the Year race, Pak could use a successful title defense this week to make up ground on Sorenstam, who is not in the field. There are 150 points available before the end of the year, and a win this week would go a long way for Pak, who will also defend at the Mobile LPGA Tournament of Champions next month where Sorenstam again is not in the field.
 
At the inaugural CJ Nine Bridges Classic Presented by Sports Today, Pak, who needed bodyguards to escort her through the mob of adoring fans after play, shot a course record 65 (-7) in the first round, then hung on during the next two days to capture the tournament title.
 
Paks 65-76-72 was enough to defeat Swedens Carin Koch by six shots. Pak was the only one in the 80-player field to finish under par. In the first round, Paks 65 gave her a four-shot lead over Jackie Gallagher- Smith and Cristie Kerr.
 
On Saturday morning, players were greeted by rain, 40-degree temperatures and winds gusting up to 35 miles per hour. On a day in which the average score was 79.63, Pak carded a 76 for a 141 total to lead Park by three shots. Park, who shot 71, was the only player on Saturday to card an under-par round. She said at the time that it felt like a 64.
 
On Sunday, conditions did not improve, but Pak matched a bogey on the second hole with a birdie on No.9 to make the turn at 3-under par, and no one could make a charge at her in the miserable conditions. Pak continued her steady play, distancing herself from the rest of the field with two birdies against two bogeys on the back nine.
 
Her final-round 72 was the best score of the day. Scotlands Mhairi McKay rolled in a birdie on the 18th hole to finish at 220 (+4) in a tie for third place with Canadas Lorie Kane (70-75-76).
 
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  • Full Coverage - CJ Nine Bridges Classic
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