Although not breaking records, Se Ri Pak still had the hottest hand. Now, she's in a position to win again -- finally.
Pak, who won four LPGA tournaments in 1998 but has struggled this year, fired a solid if unspectacular 69 yesterday to take a two-stroke lead in the ShopRite LPGA Classic in Absecon, N.J.
Still, she swears she won't think about winning until she completes her final round in the 54-hole tournament today.
"No matter what, I don't want to be thinking, `If I make this, I might win.' I don't want to do that," she said.
Yesterday, she took care of business just fine. It wasn't the record-breaking 63 she shot a day earlier, but it was good enough.
She rallied after a double bogey on No. 6, carding four birdies en route to a two-day total of 132 -- 10 under par -- heading into the final round.
Pak posted 10 birdies Friday en route to her record showing on the 6,051-yard, par-71 Seaview Marriott Resort course. But tricky wind and a disastrous performance on No. 6 held her to a 69 yesterday.
She said again that she hopes to win so she can give the trophy to her father for Father's Day.
Juli Inkster, whose round of 68 and two-day total of 134 put her two strokes back of Pak, was occasionally brilliant. She birdied two of her first four holes and was tied with Pak at 8 under at one point.
SENIORS: John Mahaffey had five birdies and an eagle in a 5-under 67 and took a one-stroke lead over three golfers in the Southwestern Bell Dominion tournament in San Antonio. Gil Morgan, Hugh Baiocchi and Bruce Fleisher are tied for second.
The 51-year-old Mahaffey, ranked 13th on the money list, was at 10-under 134 after two trips around the 6,835-yard course at The Dominion Country Club. Play was halted for 35 minutes in the late afternoon because of rain. "The last two days I played pretty solid," said Mahaffey, a native of nearby Kerrville who lives at both The Woodlands and San Antonio. "I hit a lot of greens and made some very good putts."