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Pak still happy with effort



Published: Mon, July 30, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



She said an inconsistency with a driver could happen to anybody.

By BRIAN RICHESSON

VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF

VIENNA -- Se Ri Pak's reaction was surprising after losing the final-round lead for the second straight year at the Giant Eagle LPGA Classic.

Last year at Avalon Lakes Golf Course, Pak and Michele Redman took a four-stroke lead into the final round, only to have Dorothy Delasin rally to win in a sudden-death playoff with Pat Hurst.

This year, Pak began the final round at Squaw Creek Country Club with a two-stroke lead over Tammie Green. Delasin rallied again for a one-stroke victory over Green.

If Pak, who finished at 11-under 205, was disgruntled over the way the tournament finished, she didn't show it.

"It is disappointing, but this is golf," said Pak, the South Korean who won this tournament in 1998. "It could happen to anybody. It still feels great. I tried to win this week, but that's the way golf is."

Driver problem: Pak's problems centered around an inconsistency with her driver, which hurt her most on the 346-yard par-4 11th hole.

Pak hooked her drive into the trees on the left side, early trouble that led to a double bogey. Pak's miscue allowed Green, who parred the hole, to take a two-shot edge.

"Sometimes my driver gets that problem, and you have to get up and down after that, still," said Pak, who has three wins and three second-place finishes this year. "You have a hard time getting it close to the pin to make birdie.

"There were still [seven] holes left; I still had a good chance," she said. "I just kept telling myself, 'OK, let's go.' If I could make a few more birdies, I'd be in pretty good shape."

Instead, Pak made just one, while Delasin made her move with three straight birdies at Nos. 13-15.

"Things happen," Pak said. "I tried to just play my game and try to have some fun out there and try to be aggressive. I did play aggressive today."

Pak had an opportunity at the 452-yard, par-5 13th, but she missed a chip for eagle and a 21/2-foot putt for birdie.

"I wasn't thinking how much it would break," Pak said of the putt. "As I hit it, it took off so fast to the left. But, this same thing happens to everybody."

Not surprised: Pak wasn't surprised that Delasin made a run to win the tournament.

"Everybody can shoot a low score on this golf course," Pak said. "If you make some birdies, you have chance to get a low score. Even if you have a four-shot lead, you can't relax for one second.

"My driver was giving me a hard time for a few holes, but I'm still happy about this weekend," she said. "I just tried my best; there's nothing I can do right now.

"I'm just looking forward to next week [the British Open]. Everything will be in good shape."




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