Liberty Corner, New Jersey, United States: As part of its celebration during the original week of the 120th US Open Championship, the United States Golf Association (USGA) will honour 2020 Bob Jones Award recipient Pak Se-ri with a variety of specialised content on its digital channels.
The champion of the 1998 US Women’s Open and a World Golf Hall of Famer, Pak was named the recipient of the Bob Jones Award, the USGA’s highest honour, in January. The award has been presented annually since 1955 to an individual who demonstrates the spirit, personal character and respect for the game exhibited by Jones, winner of nine USGA championships.
Pak, 42, a native of the Republic of Korea, is being featured throughout the week on USGA.org through a dedicated landing page that chronicles her historic career and broader influence on the game. Specific content includes an in-depth recap of her thrilling 1998 championship victory, a look at her final US Women’s Open round in 2016 and a video that celebrates her award and her significant impact on the game.
Additionally, a pair of films highlighting the 1998 US Women’s Open, as well as the last two hours of the play-off telecast, will be featured on demand on the USGA streaming app, available free on Amazon Fire, Roku and Apple TV.
As one of the most influential pioneers in golf, Pak inspired an entire generation of Korean golfers during her 20-year professional career, which included five Major victories among her 39 wins.
She burst onto the LPGA Tour at age 20 in 1998, and her play-off victory in the US Women’s Open at Blackwolf Run, where she became the youngest winner in the history of the championship to that point, became a defining moment in the game.
Despite carrying the attention of an entire country, Pak maintained a friendly attitude and humble demeanour that elevated her status beyond the LPGA Tour and inspired golfers of all genders and ethnicities across the world.
Pak was originally slated to receive her award this week during a ceremony at the US Open. A new date will be announced in the coming months.
Michael Whan, LPGA Commissioner, said: “When you look at that company, it’s where she belongs. It’s the people who have left the game different in so many ways, and on so many continents, and have changed the way young and old feel about the sport of golf. If Bob Jones were here today, he’d be the first one to say: ‘That’s someone who deserves to be the Bob Jones Award winner’.”
Michelle Wie said: “Being Korean, being a minority, seeing a minority win, I remember watching like: ‘Wow, that’s what I want to do.’ She really paved the way for all of us.”
Judy Rankin added: “She has led an entire nation into golf. I don’t think any of us will ever completely know or understand what she went through to become the champion she became. I don’t know how you could be more deserving.”