Pak earns Hall spot;
Wie ends up in 12th

The South Korean earns enough
points for the honor at age 26

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 yesterday 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.

Hawaii 14-year-old Michelle Wie shot a 1-over 72 yesterday to finish in a four-way tie for 12th place at even-par 284.

Pak is in just her seventh season on tour and still needs to play three more years on the tour to officially 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.

Se Ri Pak, back to camera, hugged her mother yesterday after winning the Michelob Ultra Open on Mother's Day.

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 yesterday, 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.

Wie, competing for the third time this season, had two early birdies but was deflated by four consecutive bogeys starting at No. 9. She had 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.

Wie was easy to find on the course. Despite being well off the lead, she drew the biggest crowds.

"Certainly really big," she said of the crowds' size each day. "I don't remember, but I think this is the top five of the crowds."

What the big gallery saw was easily the biggest hitter among the top 15.

On holes where drives were measured, Wie averaged 290.4 yards, including a high of 297 yesterday. The longest hitter among the 14 other players who tied for 12th or better was Annika Sorenstam, who tied for eighth: 272.9 yards.

Yesterday, at the 491-yard, par-5 third hole, Wie hit a 5-iron on her second shot.

When asked how long her drive was, she answered: "325, they told me."

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


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