SIMI VALLEY, Calif. -- Se Ri Pak is seeing the world more clearly now, and she hopes her improved sight pays off on the golf course.
The 1998 LPGA rookie of the year had laser eye surgery in Los Angeles a month before the start of the season, and the immediate results weren't good.
Pak shot a 79 in the third round of the wind-buffeted Office Depot tournament and was disqualified for failing to sign her scorecard.
"Sometimes during that week I did have to wear my glasses," she said. "I really did worry about my eyes a lot that week and especially with the wind blowing so much."
She skipped the next tournament in Naples to spend a few weeks preparing for the $750,000 Los Angeles Women's Championship that begins Friday at Wood Ranch Golf Club.
The tournament moved to Simi Valley in Ventura County after three years in suburban Glendale. Defending champion Catrin Nilsmark, who won for the first time last year, is back, along with Meg Mallon, Dottie Pepper and Sherri Steinhauer.
Karrie Webb, who opened the season with a victory in West Palm Beach, Fla., Laura Davies and Annika Sorenstam, who lost in a playoff to Nilsmark last year, are taking the week off.
Rain soaked Wood Ranch on Thursday, but the wet, chilly conditions didn't disrupt pro-am play. Designed by Ted Robinson, the 6,222-yard, links-style course is one of the more difficult in Southern California. It has twice hosted Senior PGA Tour events.
"There are a lot of trees out there and it is very narrow, too," Pak said. "During my practice round, I noticed that the greens were a little slow but with water things can change."
Besides her eyesight, Pak has changed clubs and her swing. She's gone back to the Callaway clubs that helped her win four tournaments last year after playing with Maxfli in the season's first event.
"I just wanted to try them and find out what was good for me and better for my game," she said.
During her time off, Pak practiced eight hours daily on everything from her short game to driving. The 22-year-old wants to make more time for herself after she became a sensation in her first two years on the Tour.
"I will get more practice and more thinking before playing and also more time to really focus. I want to make better decisions about my game and be a stronger player in my mind," she said.
Perhaps mindful of her scorecard debacle last month, Pak wants to handle whatever comes her way, including the large contingent of Asian media on hand this week.
"When things happen on and off the course, I want to be ready," she said. "Small things I don't want to get upset about. Either bad or good, I want to be able to control and have better control."
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