By Ann Miller
Advertiser Staff Writer
Grace Park, who missed a chance to be Rookie of the Year last season when she suffered a stress fracture, moved to Hawaii from Korea when she was 12. She attended Mid-Pacific Institute from 1991-93, then moved to Arizona for high school.
"I started playing Hawaii junior tournaments and a few national AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) events," Park recalled. "But it was too hard to travel back and forth, so we picked Phoenix and from there, I started playing junior tournaments all around."
Park was the American Junior Golf Association Player of the Year in 1994 and 96, and an All-American and collegiate Player of the Year at Arizona State. In 1998, she became the first woman in 60 years to sweep the three major amateur events (Trans-Am, Western-Am and U.S. Amateur).
Park captured 55 titles in her amateur career, qualified for the LPGA by finishing first on the 1999 SBC Futures Tour money list and has won two tour events in the past year.
Parks family owns the famous Samwon Garden restaurant in Seoul, South Korea. She is enrolled at Ewha Womens University, also in Seoul.
Life of leisure: Annika Sorenstam is playing in her first tournament since Dec. 18. Her time off, as shell be the first to tell you, was well spent.
Sorenstam did not touch a club for four weeks at her home in Incline Village, Nev. Three weeks ago she started practicing. She was never bored.
"I skied, relaxed, got to play housewife, which I dont do often," Sorenstam said. "It was nice because I just got into a routine - worked out, read the paper in the morning. It was fun."
Karrie Webb, on her affinity for Kona in general and its country club in particular:
"I love this place. It almost doesnt feel like youre out there working, youve got such a great view."
SHORT PUTTS: Kris Tschetter shot a 1-under 71 yesterday in her first competitive round in nearly eight months. Tschetter had hip surgery last June. . . . Karrie Webb said she will play in next weeks Cup Noodles Hawaiian Ladies Open. She hasnt played at Kapolei since her rookie year (1996), when she was second to Meg Mallon. . . . Japans Miho Koga and Kasumi Fujii received the tournaments sponsor exemptions this week. Koga, 18, tied for ninth at the Japan Womens Open last year as a Kumamoto High School senior. Fujii, 33, was eighth on last years JLPGA money list. . . . The final round of the Takefuji Classic last year drew the highest rating of any LPGA event televised in Japan. . . . Sally Dee, who contended here and at Cup Noodles last year, will not this year - at least not here. Dee took a 13 on the par-4 sixth hole yesterday, had a 53 at the turn and withdrew because she wasnt feeling well. Dee hit two drives and an approach shot out of bounds at No. 6. . . . Kauais Mary Bea Porter-King won the LPGAs Budget Service Award last year for her contributions to junior golf. Porter-King is a founder and president of the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association.
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