In a dramatic finish to the season, Se Ri Pak shaped a shot around a tree within three feet of the cup and made the putt for birdie on the first sudden-death playoff hole yesterday in Las Vegas to win the LPGA Tour Championship over Karrie Webb and Laura Davies.
Pak won for the fourth time this year and now has eight victories in just two seasons on the LPGA Tour, the best start since Nancy Lopez 20 years ago. Pak earned $215,000 for her victory at the Desert Inn Golf Club.
"I had tree, little bit hanging, bothers me," the 22-year-old South Korean said. "I use three-quarter 8-iron, make a low ball. What I do on 18 is perfect. Just what I want to do."
Pak, tied for the lead with Lorie Kane entering the final round, finished with a 70. Webb and Davies each had a 68 to finish at 12-under 276.
Webb clinched player of the year with her 22nd top-10 finish in 25 events this year. Unlike the PGA Tour, the LPGA's award is based strictly on points. Webb also shattered the LPGA Tour season scoring average with 69.43, more than a half-stroke better than the previous mark set by Annika Sorenstam last year.
"It's definitely been a year to remember," Webb said. "You don't know how many of these years are going to come by."
Davies' career playoff record fell to 1-8, but not until her 25-foot chip straight down the slope stopped one revolution from dropping.
SENIORS: Larry Nelson led virtually all the way in beating Tom Jenkins in the Senior Match Play Challenge in Dorado, Puerto Rico. Nelson won two of the first four holes, including an eagle at the par-5, 525-yard No. 4, en route to a 3-and-2 victory and the $240,000 first prize.
SHARK SHOOTOUT: David Duval and Fred Couples won with a closing round 11-under-par 61 in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Duval and Couples finished with a 32-under 184 and won by six strokes over Scott McCarron and Scott Hoch, the largest margin since the tournament began in 1989.
Couples and Duval shared the first prize of $350,000 in the $1.5 million event.
ELSEWHERE: His four-tournament winning streak over, Tiger Woods walked off the course without talking to reporters after finishing sixth at the Johnnie Walker Classic at Ta Shee Golf and Country Club in Ta Shee, Taiwan.
New Zealander Michael Campbell, who hadn't won since 1995, closed with a 2-under 70 for a one-stroke victory over Geoff Ogilvy of Australia. Campbell earned $215,330.