Pak Se-ri to Lead Korean Women Golfers in Rio

  • By Kim Seung-jae

    July 28, 2016 12:26

    Golf star Pak Se-ri will coach the Korean women's golf team in the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next month.

    "The goal is to win all three medals available -- gold, silver, and bronze," Pak told reporters Wednesday.

    She said the biggest obstacle is Lydia Ko, who though of Korean descent will be playing for New Zealand and is currently the world No. 1.

    Pak is the first Korean golfer to be inducted into the LPGA Hall of Fame with 25 wins on the LPGA Tour. It was her victory at the U.S. Women's Open in 1998 that inspired many Korean youngsters to take up golf who now have a huge presence on the Tour.

    All members of the Korean women's squad -- Park In-bee, Kim Sei-young, Amy Yang and Chun In-gee -- belong to this generation.

    Pak leaves for Rio on Aug. 11 ahead of the players to check the environment for the golfers. The women golfers are scheduled to play Aug. 17-20.

    Pak Se-ri speaks at a press event in Seoul on Wednesday.

    Pak retired from the sport after the Women's Open early this month. "I'd been planning retirement for three years, but it still hasn't sunk in," she said.

    She spent three decades of her life believing golf was everything but says she never regretted it. "I will play golf again in my next life, but I’d like to be born as a man and compete on the PGA Tour," she joked.

    She said she does not regret what she has done but would do a few things differently. "I was unable to find pleasure in other things while I played golf," she said. "I was too tough on myself."

    Pak recently sold her homes in California and Florida. "I'm planning something that I can do for junior golfers in Korea. Park In-bee did really well after me, but there needs to be an environment that can keep nurturing quality golfers. I want to be like an umbrella to young golfers, shielding them from difficulties and offering help when they need it."

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