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Se Ri Pak earns Hall of Fame entry this week

Pak Se-ri has triple cause to celebrate being back at the Bulle Rock Golf Course for this week's LPGA Championship.

The South Korean won last year's title by beating Australia's Karrie Webb in a playoff and will officially enter the LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame after competing in this week's event.

Pak earned the requisite number of points to gain Hall of Fame entry with victory at the 2004 LPGA tournament but had to wait until this week to complete the 10-year membership rule.

"It feels great to be back," the 29-year-old told reporters on Tuesday during preparation for Thursday's opening round.

"I just feel comfortable and I'm having fun already. All day, I've been smiling. This event just makes me feel special."

Pak, who sparked the South Korean revolution on the LPGA Tour by winning two majors in her 1998 rookie season, is excited and a little apprehensive about her looming Hall of Fame honor.

"It makes me nervous," she added. "Since the start of this year, I keep counting: 'When is the date for my 10th event?' They keep asking me the schedule, keep moving it around.

"Then you realize it's going to be 10 years this week, at my defending tournament and my 10th event (of the year).

"It's pretty special, it means a lot. It's very exciting but also I just kind of feel weird. It's like all my dreams coming true."

Pak, whose career haul of 23 LPGA titles includes five majors, finds it almost difficult to believe she has campaigned successfully on the world's biggest women's tour for a decade.

"The last 10 years, I've won so many tournaments and won a lot of majors," said the Korean, a three-times winner of the LPGA Championship.

"But it seems like 10 years is so short a time for me to be out here to play. Finally, I get to get in the Hall of Fame and already my friends are saying: 'You're that old?'

"It's hard to get into the Hall of Fame and I'm pretty much a lucky person to be here. What I've learned most in the last 10 years, which I never realized, is how lucky I am."


June 6, 2007

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