Volume 1, Number 19 December 3, 2003

2003 Awards

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Most amazing approach of the year
Grace Park, Sunday, hole 18, Safeway Ping Classic
Grace had never played very well in her hometown tournament, so in 2003 she vowed to treat it like an away event, not going to her usual haunts or hanging out with her friends all week. It worked, and she played great all week. With one hole to go, however, she needed a miracle to get into a playoff with Se Ri Pak. She needed to hole it out from the fairway. And she nearly did! Her iron was perfectly on line and the right distance, and for a moment it looked as though she might make the eagle. Alas, it was a couple feet short.

Best near-double eagle
Se Ri Pak, Sunday, hole 4, Safeway Ping Classic
What an amazing shot this one was. After a nice drive, she still had about 225 yards to the pin. But she had to shoot it over some trees to get to the hole. She grabbed her 'rescue club', a hybrid four iron, and smashed the shot easily over the trees, landing it about twenty feet short. The ball rolled all the way up to within a foot of the flag for an easy eagle. It was just the jump start she needed to roll past Annika for the trophy.
Honorable mention: Se Ri Pak, hole 9, Thursday, ADT Championship

Grace is ready for the production number at this
year's awards show!

Se Ri and Shani Waugh after their epic
playoff at the Chick-Fil-A

Most Clutch Up and Down
Se Ri Pak, playoff hole #3, Chick-Fil-A Charity Championship
Se Ri found herself in a pitched battle with Shani Waugh for this title earlier this year. On the third playoff hole, Waugh hit a good shot onto the green. Se Ri was in the middle of the fairway, but pulled her approach on this par 5 well right. It looked like it might be disastrous, but ended up behind the scoring tent. She got a free drop from there, but still had a very tricky situation: she needed to pitch the ball over a bunker, yet land it close enough to the hole to save birdie. She chose a wedge, and hit a brilliant little flop that landed softly and rolled four feet past the hole. She then made the birdie save, and would go on to win the tournament on the next hole.
Honorable mention: Grace Park, Sunday, hole 18, Michelob Light Open.

Best playoff
Se Ri Pak vs. Shani Waugh, Chick-Fil-A Charity Championship
This was very likely the best playoff I have ever seen Se Ri play (except possibly the US Women's Open 1998, and in that one she did not make as many great shots as she did here). To even get into the playoff required her to make a 15 foot birdie putt after she flubbed her chip from the greenside rough on the par 5 18th. Se Ri hit her drive on the first playoff hole (the par 5 18th) into the bunker, but got her second shot to the green and hit a great chip to two feet to save birdie. Waugh made birdie, too, so it was on to the par 4 10th hole. This time, Se Ri's approach was ten feet right of the flag, and she had a great chance to win it when Waugh missed her birdie chance. Se Ri's putt went just by the hole, and they both parred. The third playoff hole was the 18th again. This time, Se Ri's second shot ended up behind the scorer's tent, from which spot she made the Most Clutch Up and Down, as detailed above. Finally, on the 10th, Waugh hit her tee shot into the water, while Se Ri's was perfect. Looked great for Se Ri, but she hit a poor 9 iron approach, and her chip from the dicey place she ended up went fifteen feet past the hole. Waugh's third ended up in the bunker, and her fourth got to six feet. Se Ri needed to make sure she made no worse than bogey to extend the playoff; a par would win it. Amazingly, she nailed the fifteen foot par shot and won the 20th tournament of her stellar career.
Honorable Mention:
Hee-Won Han beats Wendy Ward in three holes, Wendy's Championship for Children

Best drive of the year
Michelle Wie, Nabisco Championship
Pick your favorite drive of Wie's from this event. But the one that sticks out in my mind, I can't remember the hole, was the 317 yard mega bomb she had on Friday that left her with only 90 yards to the green. The commentator said she had never seen anyone get that close to the green on that hole before.

Best Sister vs. Sister battle
Grace Park vs. Se Ri Pak, Safeway Ping Classic
Poor Hee-Won Han! She played a wonderful round on Sunday at the Safeway Ping, but was still not able to get herself into the greatest Seoul Sister battle of the year. Se Ri Pak charged out of the crowd with two eagles on her front nine at the Ping, but Grace followed behind, making amazing shots like the lengthy birdie from the fringe she drained on 15 to grab a share of the lead. At the same time, on the 16th hole, Se Ri canned a short birdie putt to move back into the lead, but then had her struggles on 17 that led to her epic par save detailed previously. Grace had a chance to tie Se Ri with a birdie on 17, but her putt was not good enough. So it all came down to the 18th hole. Se Ri put her approach to within two feet for another birdie, meaning that Grace needed to hole out from the fairway to tie her. And she nearly did it, as we talked about above (can you tell this was my favorite event of the year?). Grace announced with this tournament that she was a force to be reckoned with.

Se Ri won the best battle of Sisters all year

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