MAI KHAO: South Korean Si Re Pak has pulled out of next week’s Tiger Skins 2005 golf tournament, citing a back injury. She will be replaced by compatriot Grace Park.
Much is expected of Park, 26, who won two major Ladies’ Professional Golf (LPGA) tournaments last year, including the Kraft Nabisco Championship. She was also awarded the the 2004 Vare Trophy by the LPGA, making her the second South Korean to receive it, the other being Pak.
Park, who was born in Seoul and now lives in Phoenix, Arizona, started playing golf when she was eight and turned pro in 1999.
Although she is now in the big-earners’ league – her total professional winnings passed the US$4 million mark last year – she will win no money if victorious in the Tiger Skins because the US$180,000 (7-million-baht) prize purse for the April 16-17 tournament will be donated to tsunami relief efforts.
Other top players taking part in the tournament at Blue Canyon Country Club include Scotsman Colin Montgomerie, South African Retief Goosen – who won the 2002 and 2003 Tiger Skins – and Dane Thomas Bjorn.
One of the trademark highlights of the Tiger Skins – a televisually-friendly event – is that the players and caddies are “miked up”, allowing some occasionally candid but nonetheless good-humored personal commentary.
Highlights of the event will be broadcast on Channel 7 at 10:25 pm on April 18.
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