Pak bucks female trend to make cut

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The Independent Online

So far the attempts of Annika Sorenstam and other women golfers to play in men's professional tournaments have merely confirmed one of the game's worst stereotypes - playing during the week might be one thing, but only the men get to tee up at the weekend. At least until today, when Se Ri Pak will continue playing in the SBS Super Tournament in Seoul after making the cut.

Despite its name, the event is only part of the Korean Tour. Women's golf is stronger in South Korea than the men's game, and Pak is probably more famous than the best male player, K J Choi, who has won in both America and Europe.

Pak, the British Open champion in 2001, is second only to Sorenstam in the women's game. At two over par for the first two rounds, she was only five strokes off the lead and comfortably made the cut, which eliminates around half the field after 36 holes.

Male players said Pak was lucky on the Lake Side course. "I think the course was made to have Se Ri Pak make the cut," said Shin Yong-jin, this year's Korean Tour money leader, who shot a one-under total of 143. "I knew she would make the cut even before coming into the game."

Sorenstam started the trend for women playing in men's events at the Colonial tournament in May but missed the cut, as did Suzy Whaley in another United States event and Laura Davies at the Korean Open earlier this month.

"I can't believe it," Pak said. "I am very happy. Now I'll be aiming for a top-10 finish."

It is 58 years since the all-round sporting phenomenon Babe Zaharias made the 36-hole cut in three American tournaments, but was eliminated each time by the now-obsolete 54-hole cut, something Pak does not need to worry about today.