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Se Ri Pak ends Hall of Fame LPGA career

LPGA legend Se Ri Pak has retired from golf after the KEB HanaBank Championship.
Se Ri Pak ends Hall of Fame LPGA career
Photo Source: AP

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Se Ri Pak ended her Hall of Fame career in tears on Thursday in front of her adoring home fans in the LPGA KEB HanaBank Championship.

Overcome at the end of the sunny afternoon at Sky 72, Pak cried nearly throughout a retirement ceremony on the 18th hole.

The Little Angels children's choir sang, players wore ``SE RI'' hats and farewell messages were played in a video montage.

`"A lot of emotion going on through my mind,'' Pak said.

It mattered little to the fans and players, many of them drawn to golf by Pak, that she shot an eight-over 80 and was tied for last - 15 strokes behind leader Alison Lee - before withdrawing.

"It wasn't easy out there today,'' Pak said.

Hampered by left shoulder problems, the 39-year-old Pak said in Phoenix in March that this season would be her last and she stepped away as planned after the first round of the tour's lone South Korean event.

"It wasn't a sudden decision to retire, but I think it will take time for me to absorb the fact that I will no longer be competing,'' Pak said.

Pak won 25 LPGA Tour titles - the last in 2010 - and five majors, two of them during a rookie season in 1998 that gave women's golf its biggest boost since Nancy Lopez.

The youngest player to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame when she was enshrined in 2007 at age 30, Pak won 14 times on the Korean LPGA and captained South Korea's Olympic team - with Inbee Park winning the gold medal - in Rio.

Pak last played on the tour in July, also shooting an 80 to miss the cut in the US Women's Open.

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