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Published: Sunday, 7/15/2007

Pak wins her 5th Farr Classic with a late barrage of birdies

BY MAUREEN FULTON
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Se Ri Pak has won one for the thumb.

Pak won her fifth Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic on Sunday, fighting off Morgan Pressel by making birdies on three of the last four holes. She ties Mickey Wright and Annika Sorenstam for the most wins at an LPGA tournament.

Pak, a South Korean whose 63 on Thursday was the lowest first-round score in Farr Classic history, was awarded the $195,000 winning purse at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania. With scores of 63-68-69-67, Pak finished the tournament with a 17-under par 267.

Pressel closed with a 69 and was three shots back at 270.

Pressel, a 19-year-old phenom from Florida, made a hole in one on hole six to take a two-shot lead. But Pak birdied holes eight and nine to grab back a share of the lead. Her birdie on 15 gave her the lead for good.

Carri Wood had the best finish of her career, shooting a closing 69 to share third place with Wendy Ward (68), Laura Diaz (69) and Laura Davies (69). Wood had never been better than a tie for 12th in her previous 10 years and 152 LPGA starts.

Pressel, who started the day two shots back of Pak, needed just four holes to take the lead on Sunday. She overcame Pak at No. 4 when she rolled in a downhill 12-footer for birdie while Pak failed to get up and down from the left greenside bunker.

Pressel stepped to the tee first at the sixth. She pulled out a 7-iron and hit it to the front right edge of the green. "Get up! Get up!" she yelled at the ball. It did.

The ball kicked off a large mound just off the green, took a sharp left turn and disappeared into the cup for a hole-in-one.

"I thought, 'Well, that's a nice time to get a lucky bounce,'" Pressel said. "I tried to keep hanging in there."

Pak had every reason to be shaken, facing an 18-foot birdie putt. But she drilled it in the middle of the cup to trail by two strokes. It was a sign that she wouldn't back down.

"When she got the ace on No. 6, I felt like, 'OK. ... It's changing totally her way,"' Pak said. "As soon as she made ace, it woke me up right away. I just don't want to give up at all. I wanted to win this event so badly."

Information for this story was supplemented by the Associated Press.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.



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