Pak a natural choice for role in her homeland after blazing a trail for others to follow on the LPGA Tour
INCHEON, Republic of Korea, Oct. 16, 2017 – LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Se Ri Pak, who inspired generations of players in her homeland, has been appointed as the Honorary Director of next year's UL International Crown when it is held for the first time in the Republic of Korea.
An elite team competition that features the best female golfers from the top eight countries across the globe, the third UL International Crown will be hosted by Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon from Oct. 4-7, 2018.
Pak, who retired from competition in 2016 after winning 25 times on the LPGA Tour, was a natural choice to be named Honorary Director given her status as Korea's most celebrated and influential golfer.
"I am honored to be the Honorary Director of the 2018 UL International Crown organizing committee,” said Pak. “This is very special for me to be part of such an exciting competition and I am very proud that it is being held next year in Korea. I hope there will be more opportunities to have great competitions here in the future.”
Pak first moved to the United States as a 20-year-old and clinched two majors in her rookie season in 1998, the McDonald’s LPGA Championship and the U.S. Women’s Open. Her victory at the U.S. Women’s Open, where she triumphed in a gripping 20-hole playoff, was ranked by the Korea Times as the third most acclaimed moment in 60 years of South Korean sport and it inspired a 'Korean Invasion' of women’s golf over the following decades
Pak, who was described by Golf World as “a pioneer … who changed the face of golf even more than Tiger Woods”, won the most recent of her five major titles at the 2006 McDonald’s LPGA Championship and was inducted into the LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame in 2007.
"Se Ri will always be remembered as the woman who led a historic rise of Korean women’s golf," said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. "What she did was really wake up all of Asia to this opportunity and she created a Tour for us that we couldn't have envisioned back in 1997."
For UL President and CEO Keith Williams, the choice of the Republic of Korea as next year’s venue for the UL International Crown and the appointment of Pak as Honorary Director is a perfect fit.
"Se Ri created a standard of excellence with her work ethic, dedication and pursuit of excellence. She influences people of all ages far beyond the golf course," said Williams. "We are honored to have her support for the UL International Crown here in her home country."
The UL International Crown was first held in 2014 at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland where Spain, represented by Carlota Ciganda, Belen Mozo, Azahara Munoz and Beatriz Recari won all four singles matches on the final day to become the inaugural champions.
Two years later, a powerful United States lineup of Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Gerina Piller and Lexi Thompson came from behind to win the prestigious title at Merit Club in Chicago.