Hard to believe it was 25 years ago this week that Se Ri Pak's win at the 1998 US Women's Open started the Korean golf explosion that led to Jin Young Ko at the top, Inbee and Se Ri in the Hall of Fame, and so many great careers.
There is bound to be much more, especially on the 6th, when we hit the 25th anniversary of Se Ri's epic water shot that changed everything.
This week also marks the 25th anniversary of the first women's golf event I ever watched. I was at home on July 4th break when, surfing channels, I stumbled upon the playoff at this event. I watched for hours, fascinated. Although I was kinda rooting for Se Ri more than Jenny, I wouldn't have been sad regardless of who won at that point. I was more than happy with the outcome, especially after Se Ri's water shot. I didn't become a Korean golf fan until the following week, when Se Ri shot 61 at the Jamie Farr, at that point the lowest score in tour history (the tournament wasn't televised, alas!). From then on, I became a Se Ri gamer, and later a fan of the other Sisters who came over.
Hope you all got a chance to watch The Shot; it's a great love letter to Se Ri and Korean golf, and features appearances by many of the top Korean stars of the past 25 years. Best moment:
Mike Whan is talking about how the LPGA went from being televised in 10 countries in the late nineties to 190 today. He says "from 10 to 190... is that all (because of) Se Ri? Probably." I was not expecting him to say that. Wow!
(part of his argument is that Se Ri's success was instrumental in changing the LPGA's mindset about how important overseas markets could be for them).