Se Ri Pak shot a 5-under 66 on a soggy, windy course yesterday to win the ShopRite LPGA Classic in Absecon, N.J., and end a nearly year-long drought for the tour's 1998 rookie of the year.
"I'm very happy," she said. "Finally, I get on in 1999. So I can say `See? I got one.' No more questions anymore. I got one."
Playing in a driving rain, she birdied two of her first three holes and then added four more birdies to post a 54-hole total of 198.
Pak led from wire to wire, finishing at 15 under, two shots better than surging Trish Johnson of England, who called the weather "a perfectly normal English day."
Many Korean-Americans were on hand to cheer the 21-year-old Pak, a native of Daejeon, Korea. Also present was her father, Joon Chul Pak, to whom she planned to give her trophy as a Father's Day gift.
U.S. Women's Open champion Juli Inkster had a closing 69 and finished third at 203, while Rosie Jones was fourth with a 65 for a 204 and Emilee Klein was fifth, another stroke back after a 68.
SENIORS: John Mahaffey made a 30-foot putt on the second playoff hole to win the rain-delayed $1.1 million Southwestern Bell Dominion event at the Dominion Country Club in San Antonio. Mahaffey, the 1978 PGA Championship winner, won for the first time as a senior and earned $165,000.