COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO | In one of
the best clutch performances in recent major
championship history, 21-year-old rookie So
Yeon Ryu outlasted fellow South Korean Hee
Kyung Seo to win the U.S. Women’s Open in
a three-hole aggregate playoff Monday at the
Needing a birdie at the 72nd hole to force
the extra session, Ryu calmly buried an eight-
footer to tie Seo (who had finished her fourth
round late Sunday) at 3 under.
In the ensuing overtime, both players parred
the first. But Ryu took command with a birdie
on the next hole.
That gave her a two-shot lead with one to
play as Seo had bogeyed after a poor drive into
a fairway bunker.
Ryu then birdied No. 18 (the third playoff
hole) for the third straight time to clinch her
“I can’t believe it,” said Ryu, who arrived in
Colorado ranked No. 40 in the world. “It was a
big benefit for me to play those (playoff) holes
earlier Monday morning to finish my fourth
“I did my best,” Seo said, admitting that
the short putt she missed on the 17th hole
late Sunday was the mistake that cost her the
Ryu is the third-youngest woman to win this
event. Only Koreans Se Ri Pak (1998) and
In-Bee Park (2008) were younger.
American Cristie Kerr took third at 1 under,
a shot ahead of Solheim Cup teammate Angela
Stanford. Japan’s Mika Miyazato earned solo fifth.
This was a bizarre week in the shadow of
Cheyenne Mountain, with five weather-related
stoppages of play totaling 15 hours of delays, at
least one a day from Thursday through Sunday.
Seo had taken command by shooting back-
to-back rounds of 68 on Sunday on a day when
she teed off at 6:45 a.m. (CST) and didn’t finish
playing until 7:55 p.m.
She started the third round at 3-over par,
and the fourth round at even par. But four
straight birdies to close out the front nine of
her final round sent her to a three-shot lead,
and her closest pursuers had to come back on
Monday to try to catch her.
Kerr, who finished tied for third in the LPGA
Championship two weeks ago, trailed by two
shots with two holes to play.
And Stanford was three behind with four
holes to play when they returned to the course
So Yeon Ryu’s Monday surge carried her into a
playoff and to victory at the U.S. Women’s Open.
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