INCHEON, Oct. 14 (Korea Bizwire) – Pak Se-ri made her last 18th hole putt Thursday afternoon at Incheon’s Sky72 Golf & Resort, marking the end of an illustrious twenty-year professional career.
The 39-year-old golfer already played her final U.S. event at the U.S. Women’s Open in July, but decided to make one last appearance at the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship, the only LPGA event held in Korea every year.
After submitting her scorecard, she returned to the 18th hole for a retirement ceremony, accompanied by fans, friends, and other professional athletes – including Inbee Park, Rio 2016 Women’s Golf gold medalist, and Korea’s first MLB pitcher, Chan Ho Park – wearing caps that read “Thanks Seri.”
Pak began her professional career in 1996, and joined the LPGA Tour full-time in 1998, only to triumph in her rookie season with victories in the LPGA Championship and the U.S. Women’s Open. She won 25 LPGA Tour wins including five majors, and became the first and so far the only Korean to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Her fighting spirit was a symbol of hope to Koreans, who struggled from the 1997 Asian financial crisis that battered the nation. And her iconic moment during the 1998 U.S. Women’s Open, making a successful shot from a water hazard while barefoot, is still talked about to this day.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)