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Friday, March 18, 2016

Se Ri Pak Says 2016 Is Her Last Full Season

After her round at the JTBC Founders Cup on Thursday, Se Ri Pak told GC that 2016 would be her last full season on tour. The retrospective articles have already begun... and they're all well-deserved.

Se Ri Pak

I still remember watching a very young Se Ri win the 1998 US Women’s Open over Jenny Chuasiriporn in a playoff. (Yeah, she won the 1998 McDonald’s LPGA Championship-- now the Women's PGA -- earlier that year, but the US Open is the one that stuck with me.) Her two majors set off the avalanche of Korean -- and other Asian -- players that are such a dominant force on the women's tours today.

Se Ri wasn't just a great player, she was fun to watch. She added some spice to the brewing rivalry between Annika Sorenstam and Karrie Webb, to create an international Big3 on the LPGA. The Korean-Swedish-Australian trio was something new in women's golf, and after years of American domination they brought in a whole new worldwide audience.

I hope that since Se Ri said 2016 would be her last full season, we'll still get to see her play in a few events going forward. She says she plans to focus on helping young Koreans get ready to play the tours, and that shouldn't be too hard for her.

After all, if there's a Big3 of the modern game, you can make an argument that it's Arnold Palmer, Seve Ballesteros and Se Ri Pak. (If we went for a Mount Rushmore of Golf, Tiger would probably take the fourth spot.) Their influence goes so far beyond records that they're in a class by themselves.

Here are links to just three of the posts that have been done about Se Ri's retirement so far:
There are -- and will be -- many more, but these will get you started.


  1. Point of order: the LPGA Championship is now the Women's PGA. The ANA Inspiration is instead the current name for the major in Rancho Mirage, the one major (along with Evian) that Se Ri has yet to win in her otherwise stellar career.

    1. Thanks for catching that, IC. My mind just wasn't working properly at the time -- I'd like to blame it on old age but I'm afraid it's been happening much too long for that. ;-)

      For those of you who are interested, the ANA Inspiration -- which was called the Nabisco Dinah Shore, Nabisco Championship, and finally the Kraft Nabisco while she was winning on the LPGA (last win in 2010) -- and the du Maurier Classic (which is now the Canadian Women's Open and no longer a major) are the two majors Se Ri didn't win. The Evian was never a major during the period when she was winning -- her last worldwide win came in 2012.