After a bit of a slow start at the United States Women’s Open late last week, two Koreans had a terrific finish in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
On Monday, So Yeon Ryu defeated Hae Kyung Seo in a playoff to win the 66th American National Golf Championship for the ladies.
Ryu, who finished at -3 after 72 holes, birdied the 18th to force a playoff and then beat Seo with a better three round aggregate score. After Ryu and Seo each parred the sixteenth hole, Ryu birdied the seventeenth and eighteenth holes, while Seo bogeyed the seventeenth and parred the eighteenth.
I think Ryu had a bit of an advantage over Seo, as she was able to play the final holes of the fourth round this morning, while Seo had to wait in the clubhouse, as she was finished yesterday. Ryu, in essence played the final three holes of the Broadmoor Golf Club twice.
Ryu becomes the fifth Korean to win the U.S. Women’s Open, joining Se Ri Pak in 1998, Birdie Kim in 2005, Inbee Park in 2008, and Eun-Hee Ji in 2009. Pak, meanwhile has won the LPGA Championship three times (1998, 2002, and 2006). Grace Park is the only South Korean to win the Nabisco Dinah Shore Championship in 2004, while Pak (2001), Jeong Jang (2005) and Jiyai Shin (2008) have won the Women’s British Open.
In another note, Ryu and Seo play regularly in Korea, which makes me question the strong claibre of competition in the LPGA. I’m wondering if we are seeing a focus toward the best golfers in the world are in Korea, like we are with the men in Europe.
Annika Sorenstam of Sweden won the United States Women’s Open the last time the event was in Colorado Springs in 1995.