Originally created 05/10/04

Pak comes from behind to win at Kingsmill

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Se Ri Pak won for her father on Father's Day five years ago. Now she's won for her mother on Mother's Day.

And she played it perfectly, staying mostly off the radar for three rounds and then shooting a 6-under-par 65 Sunday to surge to victory in the Michelob Ultra Open and earn a spot in the LPGA Hall of Fame.

"Sunday, today, May 9th, is (the) best of my life," she said.

With her mother watching from the gallery, Pak moved into contention early and finished with a 9-under 275, passing five players en route to her 22nd career victory and the final point she needed to qualify for the hall.

"My biggest goal was ... the Hall of Fame," the 26-year-old South Korean said.

In just her seventh season on tour, Pak still needs to play three more years on the tour to qualify for the Hall of Fame, which requires inductees to play at least 10 years. But with four major championships worth two points each, 18 other titles worth one a piece and a scoring title worth another point, she's already earned the 27 points necessary.

And with the $330,000 winner's check from the tour's third-richest event of the season, Pak has now earned nearly $8 million in her career.

Four shots off the pace at the start of the day, Pak birdied three of her first five holes and responded to a bogey at the par-4 sixth with three more birdies in the next five holes to take the lead.

It was the 10th time Pak has won a tournament after she trailed entering the final round. Twice, she's made those charges in majors.

"Golf is never, ever easy, but sometimes it feels great (if) you are a little behind" and playing well, she said.

Later Sunday, Pak and her mother were to fly home to South Korea to join her father, who was with her when she won the ShopRite LPGA Classic on Father's Day in 1999.

"My dad (was) happy that time. So this time my mom is happy," she said.

Hall of Famer Juli Inkster, who shot 67, and third-round co-leader Lorena Ochoa (71) finished tied for second at 7 under.

Teenager Michelle Wie, competing for the third time this season, closed with a 1-over 72 and finished in a tie for 12th. She had two early birdies, four consecutive bogeys starting at No. 9, an eagle on the par-5 15th hole and a bogey at No. 18, when she three-putted from the fringe.

"I didn't really end on a good note today," the 14-year-old said.

After the round, Wie headed home to Hawaii to take her final exams before leaving for Curtis Cup practice. She will be the youngest player in the 72-year history of the amateur competition for women in mid-June.

Annika Sorenstam finished in a tie for eighth at 282 after a 71.

Ochoa, who finished in a three-way tie for second to Grace Park last year, was in tears at the finish for the second straight year at Kingsmill after missing out on her first career victory.

"I tried very hard and it didn't happen," she said after her third second-place finish in two years. "I don't like the feeling of losing."

Ochoa gave Pak a target for a while, getting to 9 under after eight holes, but had bogeys at Nos. 9 and 10 as Pak moved in front for good.

Ochoa played with Kerr, the other co-leader, who double-bogeyed the par-3 second, and with Christina Kim, who got a two-shot penalty for slow play while making bogey at the 11th. Kim shot a 77 and tied for 16th.

The last group was "on the clock" on the back nine, meaning an LPGA Tour official was making sure they didn't take too much time. After a painfully slow front nine, Ochoa felt like she had to hurry on the back.

"I got out of rhythm," she said. "I didn't take the time I should have a couple of the shots and made a couple of bad shots."

Hee-Won Han (66) and Wendy Doolan (70) finished in a tie for fourth at 280. Kerr (75) shared sixth with Mi-Hyun Kim (69), another shot back.

Divots: The River Course at Kingsmill will close on May 17th so all the greens and some of the "bunker complexes" can be rebuilt. The project is expected to take up to 11 months, but should be completed in time for next years' LPGA event. ... Second-round leader Kim Williams, who set a course record with a 63 on Friday, finished with rounds of 78 and 75. ... 2003 champion Grace Park never got going this year. She had rounds of 72, 69, 72 and 71 and finished in a tie for 12th with Wie, Angela Stanford and Williams.


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