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Se Ri Pak aiming for title defence

A year after ending Annika Sorenstam's winning string at four in the Longs Drugs Challenge, Se Ri Pak is trying to extend a couple of streaks of her own.

Pak, seeking her second straight victory on the difficult Twelve Bridges course, is coming off a one-stroke victory over Sorenstam two weeks ago in Los Angeles in the Office Depot Championship.

``This golf course has a lot of trouble. You have to think a lot and make smart plays,'' Pak said. ``You cannot always hit driver. As long as you can plan for the golf course you will be OK.''

The South Korean star is clearly the headliner this week, with Sorenstam and Karrie Webb skipping the tournament. Six of the top-10 money winners and 14 of the top 25 are in the field.

Last year, Pak held off Laura Diaz by two strokes in the tournament that was shortened to 54 holes because of rain. Pak opened with a 6-under 66, the best round of the week.

Juli Inkster, the winner in 1999 and 2000, is prepared for difficult conditions. She had a tournament-record 13-under 275 total in her 2000 victory.

``I'm used to playing in this type of weather, on this type of golf course,'' said Inkster, who lives 125 miles away in Los Altos and went to San Jose State.

``Twenty-under par is not going to win. Six-under par or 7-under par will probably win, which gives me a better chance.''


Canada's Lorie Kane, seventh on the money list, dropped out of the tournament Tuesday, citing personal reasons. ... Rookie Natalie Gulbis of nearby Citrus Heights is in the field. She first played the tournament in 1977at age 14.

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