A year after celebrating a career-reviving victory in the LPGA Championship, Se Ri Pak found herself at another party yesterday at Bulle Rock in Havre de Grace.
A Hall of Fame party.
When Pak completed her opening round of 1-over-par 73, she also finished her 10th season on the LPGA Tour. It means that Pak's previous accomplishments, which include 23 victories and five majors, will make the 29-year-old South Korean the 24th player in the tour's Hall of Fame.
"I think it's too young for me because I am such a young player," said Pak, who also will enter the World Golf Hall of Fame later this year. "I know I'm probably the youngest to join. I'm probably a rookie now. I feel great. I don't think I can ask for anything more at this moment."
"It's extremely fitting that we celebrate Se Ri's induction into the Hall of Fame here at the McDonald's LPGA Championship," LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens said. "It was 10 years ago at this tournament that Se Ri started her march toward the Hall of Fame, 10 years ago that she earned her very first career victory. She accomplished so very much, and ... she is not yet 30 years old. Incredible."
Pak had qualified on points three years ago when she won a tournament in Williamsburg, Va., and didn't win again until last year at Bulle Rock. She admitted she was more nervous yesterday than she had been in a long time.
"Probably the most nervous tee shot I've ever hit in the last 10 years," she said. "This is one of the things I've dreamed about and finally I've made it. I know there's still more, but I'm a very lucky person to be joining as a member of the LPGA [Hall of Fame]."
88 rule might be out
Bivens tried to explain what happened to Michelle Wie last week at the Ginn Tribute tournament.
Wie withdrew after 16 holes in the opening round, and at 14-over-par, was in jeopardy of shooting 88 and risking banishment from LPGA events for a year.
Bivens said the rule - intended for teaching pros and amateurs rather than a 17-year-old who pulls in nearly $20 million a year in endorsements - will be examined by the tour's executive committee at the end of the year.
Today is Harford County Day at the tournament. Every fan who arrives before 11 a.m. will receive a free ticket to return tomorrow or Sunday.