What a summer. First, Se Ri Pak won the U.S. Open, and suddenly
everybody seemed to want my autograph. "Se Ri, please sign,"
they'd say. I understood how people could get us confused, since
we're both Korean golfers, but it was frustrating. I wished they
wanted my autograph. "Don't worry," I told myself. "That will
come, too, in time."
My time came last month at the U.S. Amateur. I was the underdog
going into the final against Jenny Chuasiriporn, who had lost to
Se Ri in their Open playoff. All I wanted was a chance to live up
to my Korean name, Ji Eun. It means Rises to the Top with Much
Luck. I beat Jenny 7 and 6 to win the Amateur ("What is it with
me and Koreans?" she said), and then I was the one signing
autographs. It was the perfect end to my summer vacation. The
trophy went straight to my dad's living room in Phoenix, where he
has used all my trophies and lots of golf photos to make a sort
of shrine to me. It's so embarrassing when people come over!
Sorry, Dad, but now that I have an apartment, I'm decorating it
my own way. My roommate, Krista DuVall, and I have had a great
time running back and forth to Target, picking out things for our
little bachelorette pad. We just bought lavender dishes and
silverware to go with our lavender towels and bath mat.
My big dilemma this month is deciding what pictures to hang in
the living room. There won't be any golf photos, that's for sure.
Dad can have those. It's not that I don't appreciate them; it's
just that when I'm done practicing for the day, I want to be a
normal college girl--hanging out with Krista, shopping, going
to parties, having people over. That's why you'll never see a
bunch of golf posters at our place. That handsome Armani model
we've got on the wall is working out fine.
September 20, 1998
Grace Park is a sophomore at Arizona State.