Despite errant tee shots that led to two late bogeys, Se Ri Pak hung on to a one-shot lead yesterday midway through the JAL Big Apple Classic. Her 2-under-par 69 at Wykagyl Country Club gave her a 7-under 135, one stroke better than Lorie Kane, Karrie Webb, Sherri Steinhauer and Meg Mallon.
"Almost a pretty good round," Pak said. "A few bad shots. My irons, a little pulled. My driver, a little pushed."
U.S. Open champion Juli Inkster, continuing her sensational resurgence, had a 67 and moved into contention at 4-under 138. She was tied with Pearl Sinn, who had an even-par 71.
Pak, who led by a stroke after an opening-round 66, had nine pars, four bogeys, four birdies and an eagle in an up-and-down round. For the second straight day, she eagled the 432-yard par-5 15th, hitting a second-shot 4-iron to about 40 feet and rolling in the putt.
At one point, Pak appeared ready to take command of the tournament but couldn't do it. Standing at 9 under, she pulled a 5-wood into a greenside trap on the par-3, 222-yard seventh hole -- her 16th hole of the day -- barely got the ball onto the green and two-putted from 25 feet.
On the short par-4 ninth, Pak pushed her drive into tall grass at one end of a water hazard. She had to chip out into the fairway and couldn't get up and down for par.
SENIORS: DeWitt Weaver came back with a birdie on No. 17 after dunking his drive on the previous hole, putting him in a three-way tie with David Graham and Jose Maria Canizares at the Ameritech Senior Open in Long Grove, Ill.
Weaver, Graham and Canizares all shot a 5-under 67 in the first round at Kemper Lakes. Bruce Fleisher, the senior tour's money leader, was tied with Dale Douglass and John Mahaffey one stroke back at 68.
Defending champion Hale Irwin ran into trouble with four bogeys and finished six strokes off the lead with a 1-over 73. Jerry McGee, playing in his first tournament since undergoing surgery for throat and mouth cancer in March, shot a 44 on the back nine and is 11 strokes back at 78.