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Golf Australia Express : Issue2
ITMIGHT take you couple of attempts to get her name right, but you’d better remember it, because you’ll be hearing plenty more about So Yeon Ryu. A 21-year-old blessed with a veteran’s resolve, the South Korean miss became the third- youngest US Women’s Open champion in history after forcing a playoff and storming to victory in a tournament that stretched over five rain-soaked days and into the early hours of this Tuesday morning. It was a win Ryu couldn’t possibly pull off. How could she? With no status on the LPGA Tour, she gained entry via a top-five finish on the Korean LPGA Tour money list last year. Major form? Forget about it. A tie for 25th at last year’s Women’s Open was her previous best. Then there was her first round. She headed into the clubhouse on Thursday at three over par, having hit just nine greens in regulation and facing a potential Friday exit with the other starters who shot 74 or worse. But when she made par at every hole on the front nine on day two, the belief returned and by the time she signed for her second consecutive 69 after her third round, she was right in the hunt. Compatriot Hee Kyung Seo had other ideas, and wrapped up her final round on the fourth day’s play with a one-stroke clubhouse lead. But Mother Nature intervened in the drama, forcing Ryu from the course with three holes to play because of bad light while trailing by just one shot. The playoff equation on the fifth day was simple for the youngster—one birdie from the remaining three holes and you’re in, none and you’re out. She left her move until the death, tickling the edge of the hole on 17 before dropping a six iron five feet from the pin on the par-4 18th. Birdie. Playoff. Contested over the traditional three holes, Ryu and Seo shared the spoils at the par-3 16th— both making par—but that was the last Seo ever saw of her younger counterpart. Her chances dived when she picked out a fairway bunker off the tee on the par-5 17th, while Ryu played three perfect shots to set up an eight-foot birdie chance, which she casually rolled in. When the dust settled at The Broadmoor’s east course, Ryu had a two-stroke lead with one hole to play. A second Ryu birdie at 18 was of little consequence, with only Seo managing par to hand the kid the biggest win of her short career. The Yanks had their chances at their home tournament, with both Cristie Kerr and Angela Stanford level with Ryu heading into the final round. But neither finished in the red over the closing 18 holes, relegating them to third and fourth, respectively. Meanwhile, Australian veteran and former world No.1 Karrie Webb showed she can still be a major force, finishing at two over and in a tie for sixth.” OTG “LPGA IS MY DREAM TOURNAMENT, SO I REALLY HOPE PLAYING IN LPGA.”—So Yeon Ryu on getting LPGA status after her win. WHAT JUST HAPPENED AT THE US WOMEN’S OPEN WRAP THE FINAL STANDINGS 1 SO YEON RYU KOR -3 $585,000 2 HEE KYUNG SEO KOR -3 $350,000 3 CRISTIE KERR USA -1 $215,493 4 ANGELA STANFORD USA E $150,166 5 MIKA MIYAZATO JPN +1 $121,591 T6 KARRIE WEBB AUS +2 $98,128 T6 AI MIYAZATO JPN +2 $98,128 T6 INBEE PARK KOR +2 $98,128 9 RYANN O’TOOLE USA +3 $81,915 T10 JIYAI SHIN KOR +4 $70,996 T10 AMY YANG KOR +4 $70,996 T10 I.K . KIM KOR +4 $70,996 MAJOR KOREA CHANGER