Volume 1, Number 19 December 3, 2003

2003 Awards

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Now that the season is over, what say we take a walk down memory lane and recall some of the more interesting and exciting moments of the year. We don't have a fancy award show, nor glamorous celebrity presenters; not even a production number to distract from the main purpose (although you can imagine dozens of Korean gals in evening gowns singing 'Gotta Golf!' while swinging rhinestone encrusted putters in the air if that helps you get in the mood!). Let us begin!

Most surprising missed cut:
Mi Hyun Kim, Weetabix British Open
Peanut was coming into this event off of 52 straight made cuts, the longest active streak of made cuts in the LPGA by a wide margin. Just two years earlier, she had finished second in this event. Few were expecting her to miss the cut, but that's just what happened. She hasn't missed a cut since.
Dishonorable mention:
Se Ri Pak at the Welch's/Fry's event

Most costly hole of the year:
Jeong Jang's 5th hole, Sunday, US Women's Open
Coming into that hole, Jeong Jang, who has never won on the LPGA tour, was at 4 under par, and essentially in the lead. Then she reached the par 3 5th hole. A tricky hole with a nasty water carry and a tucked pin placement, JJ went for the hole and got burned, plunging her shot into the water. She took a drop, but the drop area was itself in some less than short grass, and her second attempt also found the water. She finally got on in 5, but three putted for a quintuple bogey 8. JJ would go on to miss the playoff by three shots. Even a double bogey on the 5th hole would have been enough to get her into the playoff; a bogey, and she would have been the second Korean US Women's Open champ in history (after Se Ri Pak, of course).

JJ had a notable US Women's Open;
but disaster struck in round 4
SeoulSisters.com Photo

Se Ri at the British Open on Sunday

Most costly bunker of the year:
Se Ri Pak, 18th hole fairway bunker, Women's British Open
Se Ri played a superlative British Open, after three fairly lackluster Major efforts in a row in 2003. Coming into the 18th hole on Saturday, she was at 10 under and looking to finish the day tied for the lead when she put her her drive into the Bunker of Death, a nasty pot bunker on the fairway. Once in this bunker, you had no choice but to pitch out and hope for a par save. Se Ri made a good run at it, but got bogey and slipped to 9 under. On Sunday, tied for the lead with Annika Sorenstam, she again put her drive into this bunker, and again got a bogey which caused her to lose by one stroke. If that bunker had not existed, in all likelihood, Se Ri Pak would have been the 2003 Weetabix Women's British Open Champion.
The same bunker also nailed Grace Park, who had a 64 going on Saturday before landing in that bunker on 18 and bogeying the hole.


Sand save of the year
Se Ri Pak, Hole 17, Sunday, Women's British Open
Although the Bunker of Death on hole 18 probably cost Se Ri the championship here, she had many other superlative bunker shots during the week. I could have easily picked her shot from the greenside bunker on 18 during, I believe, Friday's round. She was forced to hit the shot with her feet entirely outside of the bunker, yet got it close enough for the par save. Or on Sunday, she had one of the worst lies imaginable in the greenside bunker on the par 5 15th, so bad that again she was not able to stand in the bunker at all. She did not make birdie there, however, but even getting it out of the sand was an accomplishment.

But she saved her best sand save for the end. On 17, she put her approach in yet another greenside bunker. This time she could get both feet in the trap, but the situation was as tense as it could get: tied for the lead at a Major with Annika Sorenstam, who was on the green with a good birdie chance. Se Ri *had* to get up and down to have any chance to stay alive. She responded with an amazing bunker shot that flew all the way to the hole and stopped on a dime right next to it. The greens were rock hard, and she stuck it from the bunker. It was an awesome shot. She went on to make par of course.
Clutch putt of the year
Se Ri Pak, Sunday, 17th hole, Safeway Ping Classic
This one is a no-brainer; even the Golf Channel named it as the 4th best shot of the year. Se Ri Pak was in the midst of a brilliant round of golf, but was in danger of losing the tournament to a hard charging Grace Park. Then on 17, with only a one shot lead, she put her tee shot into the water. She got her third onto the green, but some 45 feet away from the hole. At this point, while Grace waited in the fairway, Se Ri needed to sink it in two putts to stay tied for the lead. Instead, she hit one of the greatest putts of her career, a majestic, hard breaking putt that took about ten seconds, finally rolling perfectly into the bottom of the cup for a phenomenal par save. She would go on to win the event - by one shot.
Honorable mentions:
Grace Park, Sunday, 18th hole, Michelob Light Open
Hee-Won Han, Sunday, third playoff hole birdie, Wendy's Championship for Children

Se Ri makes our Clutch Putt of the Year
at the Safeway Ping

Next Page