By Doug Gorman
Se Ri Pak has fond memories of the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship and the Eagle's Landing Country Club course, and with good reason.
A year ago, Pak treated fans to one of the most dramatic victories in the tournament's history, beating Shani Waugh in a four-hole playoff. Both golfers finished regulation play at 16-under par. It was Chick-fil-A tournament record for three rounds of golf.
"I'm happy to be back," she said. "I enjoyed playing here last year and would love to win again this week."
Pak has been one of the LPGA tour's most consistent performers over the past few seasons. Pak began the year with more $7-million dollars in the bank in career earnings and she is easily turned in to one of the LPGA's most reliable stars.
Pak has won 21 tournaments, including four majors since joining the tour in 1998 has a rookie. She is about to become eligible for the LPGA Hall of Fame in just six years on the tour.
She is also an official ambassador for the game, as she has paved the way for other Korean women to take up professional golf.
A victory by Pak this week at the Eagle's Landing Country Club course would make her the first repeat winner at the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship.
Pak has stayed busy since the season started back in March, taking just one weekend off. Despite the busy schedule, she hasn't lost focus as she heads back to the Eagle's Landing Country Club Course in defense of her title.
"My season, well, this is my fifth tournament for the year. I think I'm in pretty good shape. This year seems like a little slow start to now, but I think my game is coming together."
This year Pak and her fellow LPGA competitors will have to play one extra round as the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship moves to four rounds.
It's something Pak welcomes.
"The prize money has increased, it's a great tournament field, it's a great course," she said. "It should be a four-round tournament. That makes it more exciting."
Pak embraces the fact that she sort of paved the way for other Korean players to make it in professional golf.
"I think it's amazing to me, the last three-years, numbers-wise I can't even count it, because two, three years ago, we had like three players from Korea. That means a big change for our country, but right now, we have over 20."