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Pak May Miss Japan Classic


Se Ri Pak, exhausted and bedridden with a cold, missed a medal ceremony today with South Korea's president.

The 20-year-old golfer was one of three South Korean athletes chosen to receive the Order of Sport Merit (Brave Tiger), the second highest government medal given to an athlete.

President Kim Dae-jung wanted to personally pin the medal on Pak, but her doctor advised her to stay at Samsung Hospital, where she was admitted Saturday. Doctors said she still has a high fever.

The other two athletes chosen to receive the medal -- Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Chan Ho Park and golfer Pearl Sinn -- attended the ceremony at the presidential Blue House.

Since arriving in Seoul last Tuesday for a week's visit, Pak has been besieged by the media and attended numerous promotional events for her corporate sponsor, Samsung.

She became ill late Saturday after playing in rainy conditions in the second round of the Korea LPGA. She skipped the final round Sunday.

Doctors put Pak under medication at least until Tuesday.

Pak's family said it's unclear whether she will be able to play in the Japan Classic, the LPGA event that begins Friday.

Pak has four victories this year on the LPGA Tour, including the U.S. Women's Open and the LPGA Championship.

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