THEY teased each other and shared a lot of friendly banter.
But come February next year, Pak Se Ri and Natalie Gulbis will get down to serious business when they swing into Singapore for the inaugural HSBC Women's Champions Tournament.
Featuring top golfers from seven golf tours around the world, the US$2 million ($2.9m) event is the female version of the men's HSBC Champions Tournament held in Shanghai for the past three years.
Yesterday, the two Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) stars confirmed their participation in the women's 'Major of Asia'.
They were in Singapore for a quick stopover on their way to Perth for the Lexus Cup, starting on Friday.
Gulbis qualified for the HSBC tournament when she won her maiden LPGA title at the Evian Masters in July.
Prior to her win, the 24-year-old American was known more for her sex symbol status than her achievements on the golf course.
With her pretty face and voluptuous figure to match, Gulbis is every sponsor's dream.
She is also the only golfer who has her own reality series on The Golf Channel, The Natalie Gulbis Show.
Asked what contributed to her maiden win, Gulbis said jokingly: 'I won because Se Ri was not there.
'She was the first person to give me a hug when we met at a tournament the following week. She told me, 'You're lucky I wasn't there.'
Her witty remarks drew laughter from the posse of journalists and photographers who were present at the meet-the-media session at Tanah Merah Country Club yesterday.
On a more serious note, she said: 'It's really a tribute to the hard work I have put in for the last six years.
'I didn't do anything different that week. I have been in that position before. It just happened for me that week.'
Pak booked her berth in the HSBC Champions Tournament by winning the 2007 Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic and the 2006 McDonald's LPGA Championship.
Widely regarded as the original member of the Seoul Sisters - the group of South Korean women plying their trade in the US LPGA Tour - the 30-year-old South Korean has 24 LPGA titles to her name, including five Majors, since she joined the Tour in 1998.
In her rookie season, she won two Majors - the McDonald's LPGA Championship and US Women's Open.
As a result, she was named the Rolex Rookie of the Year.
Last month, Pak was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, surpassing Australia's Karrie Webb as the youngest living inductee.
Interestingly, she said she was at the lowest point of her career just two years ago. Her form went on a downward spiral due to fatigue and injuries.
She said: 'Being the perfectionist that I am, I always put a lot of pressure on myself to be the best player I can be.
'I was playing golf non-stop for seven years without any break.
'It was then that I realised I'm a human being, not a machine.
'I took a break which allowed me to do the things that every normal person does, such as hanging out with friends.
'That has really made a huge difference, as I feel more relaxed on the golf course these days.'
Rejuvenated and recharged, the daughter of a former baseball player has re-established herself as the undisputed leader of the Seoul Sisters.
She said: 'People look up to me as the leader of women's golf in Asia.
'That comes with a lot of pressure, but we Koreans are good because we are mentally strong.'