Trail-Blazer Pak Se-ri to Receive USGA’s Highest Honour

Pak Se-ri inspired an entire generation of Korean golfers with her 1998 US Women’s Open win. Picture by USGA/Steven Gibbons.

Liberty Corner, New Jersey, United States: Honouring golf’s greatest ambassadors, innovators and leaders, the USGA has revealed its 2020 Annual Award honourees highlighted by Pak Se-ri, the 1998 US Women’s Open champion and World Golf Hall of Famer, as the Bob Jones Award recipient.

Presented annually since 1955, the Bob Jones Award recognises an individual who demonstrates the spirit, personal character and respect for the game exhibited by Jones, winner of nine USGA championships.

As one of the most influential pioneering forces in the women’s game, Pak inspired an entire generation of Korean golfers during her 20-year professional career, which included 39 wins, five of which were Majors.

Pak burst onto the LPGA Tour in 1998, and her play-off victory in the US Women’s Open, when she became the youngest winner in the history of the championship to that point, became a defining moment in the game.

Despite carrying the weight and attention of an entire country, it was through her friendly attitude and humble demeanour that her high level of character truly revealed itself.

Pak will receive the award during the week of the 2020 US Open Championship in June at Winged Foot Golf Club.

The four 2020 individual honourees also include Lon Haskew, the recipient of the Joe Dey Award for meritorious service as a volunteer; Dr William Meyer, the USGA Green Section Award recipient for his work in sustainability through agronomic advancements, and Kevin Robbins, author of The Last Stand of Payne Stewart, who will receive the Herbert Warren Wind Book Award. All three will receive their awards during the USGA Annual Meeting on February 29 in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

The USGA’s Annual Awards were established to honour those who advance the game and the association’s mission through research, celebrating and preserving golf’s history, and service to the game through volunteerism and personal spirit, character and respect. 

“It’s an honour to have the opportunity to annually recognise those whose contributions and positive influence have made a meaningful impact on the game,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “The individuals who comprise this year’s list of recipients truly embody the core values of the USGA to lead, serve and inspire.”

Receiving the Ike Grainger Award in recognition of 25 years of volunteer service to the USGA are John Bartholomew, Dwayne Dillinger, Bruce Flower, Robert Hillis, Richard Johnson, Craig Kessler, David Laird, John Luffey Jr, Diana Murphy, Greg Norris, Gilbert Palmer, Charles Rountree III, Joseph Sholtis and Grover Walker. The group of 14 will also be recognised during the awards banquet at the USGA Annual Meeting.

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