Retiring South Korean great Se Ri Pak has received a special exemption from the U.S. Golf Association to play in the U.S. Women's Open.
The USGA announced the exemption Wednesday for the July 7-10 event at CordeValle in San Martin, California. Pak won the 1998 tournament at Blackwolf Run in a 20-hole playoff against amateur Jenny Chuasiriporn, a victory that inspired many young South Koreans players.
"The U.S. Women's Open has a very special meaning in my career and life," Pak said. "It has opened up the doors for all my dreams to come true. With that, I am very honored and pleased to be given this opportunity to participate for the last time before finishing up my playing career. I have learned so much. I will do all my best to give back the love and support I have received for the future of golf."
Hampered by left shoulder problems, he 38-year-old Hall of Famer said in March that she will leave the LPGA Tour at the end of the season. She won the last of her 25 LPGA Tour titles in 2010.
"Without a doubt, Se Ri Pak's 1998 U.S. Women's Open victory revolutionized women's golf and inspired scores of players from the Republic of Korea and around the world," said Stuart Francis, chairman of the USGA Championship Committee. "The USGA is proud to honor Se Ri in her final season and applaud her historic career."