Last year was great, almost unbelievable, for me. It was also
exhausting. My goals for 1999 are the same--play good golf and
win often--but this time I hope to stay out of the hospital.
I've made changes that I hope will allow me to balance work and
rest. Gone is my manager, Steven Kil; gone is my teacher, David
Leadbetter; and, sadly, gone is my beagle, Happy, who was the
hardest to let go. Happy was getting too wild to stay with me on
the road. He was out of control, like Steven and David.
I had to fire Steven because he didn't protect me the way a
manager should. It was always "Se Ri, we need to do this
interview" and "Se Ri, we need to do this," always pulling me in
many directions. I felt like a rag doll. Then he got too
involved in my personal life, and that's not his business. I'm
21 years old. I don't need anybody to hold my hand.
I don't work with David anymore because he had too much on his
plate. I moved to Orlando to be close to him, but on my off
weeks he wasn't always available. David knows my swing and
helped me, but I also need help with putting and chipping, areas
where David wasn't very helpful. For now I'll rely on my father,
Joon Chul, whose new American name is Alex, to be my coach. He
knows my putting better than anyone.
Two weeks ago I signed with IMG, which will handle my business
affairs. I'm making my own schedule and will play five weeks in
a row only once. Tree (my caddie, Jeff Cable) will help handle
travel plans, my practice schedule and where to eat.
I want to take time for myself and have fun--just like Happy,
who now lives with a family on a farm in Tennessee and chases
rabbits all day. I have a new Happy. She's a miniature
schnauzer. I hope this year will be more peaceful for my dog and
Se Ri Pak has missed the cut and finished 29th in two starts in
COLOR PHOTO: THEO WESTENBERGER Happy days For Pak, breaking up with her beagle was hard to do. [Se Ri Pak with dog Happy]