Pak wins women's British Open

Se Ri Pak charged past Karrie Webb on Sunday in the Women's British Open for her third major title.

"There was nothing to lose and I was trying to go for it," the 23-year-old South Korean star said. "It was the last day and the last chance for me. I just played and played. I thought that if I finished the last three holes perfect I'd be in good shape."

She did, closing with a par and two birdies for a 6-under-par 66 and a two-stroke victory over compatriot Mi Hyun Kim.

Pak also moved into position to top Webb as the youngest female player to complete the career Grand Slam.

Winner of the LPGA Championship and U.S. Open as a rookie in 1998, Pak will have three chances to make more history. If she wins the Nabisco Championship in any of the next three years, she'll break Webb's record as the youngest -- at 26 years, 6 months -- to win all four majors.

The Australian, who flopped in Sunday's final round to slide 10 places from fifth, set the mark by winning the U.S. Open and LPGA Championship this summer.

Lorie Kane of Charlottetown finished with a 69 and a 1 over 289, for 46th place.

Pak, who began the round four strokes behind Scotland's Catriona Matthew, eagled the first hole and added birdies on Nos. 10 and 12 en route to an 11-under 277 total.

Pak earned $221,650 for her fourth victory of the year to pass Annika Sorenstam and Webb for the top spot on the money list with $1,248,575.

"I can't guarantee it but, hopefully, every year four or five tournaments is enough to win, I guess," Pak said. "I feel like my game is getting much stronger.

"In the first two years I played pretty well, but didn't have time to think about anything else. In 2000, I didn't play well and didn't improve. It got me a lot of stress, getting mad, upset because I'd had a great two years before.

"This has been a perfect time to learn more about my game, mentally and physically, to give me more time to grow up a lot better than in the first two years. So, after that, 2001 is just starting to be really great."

Wait for 2002.

Kim gave South Korea its first 1-2 finish in a major, closing with a 71. American Laura Diaz (67) tied for third with Matthew (73), Scotland's Janice Moodie (71) and Denmark's Iben Tinning (68) at 8-under 280.

Pak went ahead for the first time in the tournament when she holed a three-foot putt at the 17th to move to 10 under. Her tee shot on No. 18 found light rough to the right, but she dropped a seven-iron shot within four feet of the flag and made the birdie putt.

After her completing her round, a smiling Pak hugged her mother and then waited for the 10 players behind her to finish.

"My mother's crying. She makes me cry, too," Pak said.

Webb began the round two strokes back, but faded with a 75 to tie for 15th at 5 under.

While Matthew failed to improve her 9-under score in sunny, almost windless conditions, Pak and Diaz made up ground quickly.

Starting six strokes behind, Diaz played the first six holes in 19 shots to wipe that out before the Scot had even gone to the first tee. But Diaz dropped a stroke at the 16th to slip back.

By Robert Millward