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Archive for Monday, June 10, 2002

Pak claims fourth major title

Daniel’s final-round collapse costs veteran chance at record

June 10, 2002

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— The LPGA Championship was one for the ages, all right. Just not for 45-year-old Beth Daniel.

Daniel's bid to become the oldest major champion in LPGA history buckled under relentless pressure from Se Ri Pak, who turned a four-shot deficit into a three-shot victory Sunday and set a record she knew nothing about.

The 24-year-old South Korean became the youngest woman to claim four majors, surpassing Mickey Wright, who was 25 when she won her fourth of 13 majors at the 1960 LPGA Championship.

"I really didn't have any idea I made a new record," she said. "Thank God I didn't know."

Pak closed with a 1-under 70 at DuPont Country Club, the second time she has come from four strokes behind in the final round to win a major.

It was heartbreaker for Daniel, a Hall of Famer with 32 victories, none since 1995. She was poised to become the oldest woman to win a major, surpassing Babe Zaharias, who was 42 years, 11 months when she won the 1954 U.S. Women's Open.

Daniel closed with a 6-over 77, which included a double bogey on No. 5 and bogeys on three of the first four holes on the back nine as the tournament slipped away.

Annika Sorenstam carded a 65, the lowest round of the tournament, to finish alone in third at even-par 284. Juli Inkster and Karrie Webb tied for fourth at 285.

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