Havre de Grace, Md. (June 7, 2007) – Upon completion of her first round as defending champion of the McDonald’s LPGA Championship Presented by Coca-Cola today in Havre de Grace, Md., Se Ri Pak officially qualified for induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame through the LPGA Point System. She will become the first South Korean member of the World Golf Hall of Fame at the Induction Ceremony on Nov. 12 at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla.
Pak, who accumulated the necessary 27 points for Induction when she won the 2004 Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill, needed to play 10 events in 2007 to officially complete her 10th LPGA Tour season and meet the final Induction requirement. The McDonald’s LPGA Championship Presented by Coca-Cola marked her 10th event this season. She will join Hubert Green (Veteran’s Category) and Curtis Strange (PGA TOUR Ballot), among others who are yet to be announced as part of the 2007 Class of Inductees.
“To become a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame is truly a special honor,” said Pak. “It is a dream come true for me to be alongside those who have played such an important role in professional golf. I am extremely proud of my country and grateful to them for all of their support throughout my career.”
“Se Ri has enjoyed tremendous support from fans all around the world, and no one is more proud of her than the fans from her homeland in South Korea,” said Carolyn F. Bivens, LPGA Commissioner and member of the World Golf Foundation Board of Directors. “She has left an indelible mark on the lives of so many young boys and girls who dream of one day having a career in golf. She’s shown them that it’s possible; dream big; work hard; never give up.”
“We look forward to welcoming Se Ri into the World Golf Hall of Fame this November, and believe her story will be fascinating to the many golf fans who will visit the Hall of Fame for years to come,” said Jack Peter, the Hall’s Sr. Vice President & Chief Operating Officer. “It is a pleasure to celebrate the global aspect of this sport and I’m sure Se Ri’s fans in Korea will take great pride in having her join the elite group of Hall of Fame members.”
Pak is the most successful South Korean golfer with 23 career LPGA Tour wins, including five major championships. Her first LPGA victory came at a major tournament, the 1998 McDonald’s LPGA Championship, the year she joined the LPGA Tour. In her second major championship that year, she became the youngest player to win a U.S. Women’s Open after a 20-hole playoff. She went on to win two other tournaments her rookie year (Jamie Farr Kroger Classic and Giant Eagle LPGA Classic) and joined fellow World Golf Hall of Fame member Juli Inkster as the only LPGA players to capture two modern major championships in their rookie season.
Pak turned professional in 1996 and competed on the Korea LPGA for two years, winning six tournaments from 1996-97. She won 30 tournaments in Korea as an amateur, after having picked up the game at age 14.
The 2007 World Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place Monday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. on the World Golf Hall of Fame Lawn at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla. The ceremony is free and open to the public and will be broadcast live on the Golf Channel. For more information about the 2007 Class of Inductees or the World Golf Hall of Fame, call 904-940-4123 or visit www.wgv.com.
About the World Golf Hall of Fame
World Golf Hall of Fame, located in St. Augustine, Fla., is the ultimate destination for the celebration and recognition of golf’s greatest players and contributors and an inspiration to golfers and fans throughout the world. A collaboration of 26 national and international golf organizations support the Hall of Fame, including the PGA TOUR, LPGA, USGA, PGA of America and The R&A. The museum houses interactive exhibits and historic and personal artifacts that tell the stories of its members and the game of golf. Adjacent is the World Golf Hall of Fame IMAX® Theater. For more information, visit www.wgv.com.
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As sole founding partner of World Golf Hall of Fame, The First Tee and World Golf Village, Shell Oil Company provides financial support and plays the lead role in charitable initiatives aimed at introducing golf to young people, and through the golf experience promotes scholastic achievement, community service and those values intrinsic to the game of golf: honesty, integrity and sportsmanship.
NOTE TO EDITOR: Transcript from the press conference will be available on www.asapsports.com.