|So Yeon Ryu of South Korea imitates a `selfie` as she celebrates her two stroke victory during the fourth round of the LPGA Canadian Pacific Women`s Open at the London Hunt and Country Club on Sunday in London, Ontario, Canada. (AFP)|
South Korean golfer Ryu So-yeon picked up her first LPGA Tour victory in two years on Sunday at the Canadian Pacific Women's Open.
At the London Hunt and Country Club in London, Ontario, Ryu shot a 3-under 69 in the final round for a four-round total of 23-under, a tournament record. Fellow South Korean Choi Na-yeon shot a 67 on Sunday to finish two strokes behind Ryu in sole possession of second.
This was the third career LPGA win for Ryu, the 2012 Rookie of the Year, and her first since August 2012. Ryu cashed in a $337,500 winner's check and is projected to jump from No. 9 to No. 5 in the world rankings.
Ryu began the final round at 20-under, four shots ahead of Choi and Azahara Munoz of Spain, and was never really threatened as she completed the wire-to-wire victory. She made only three bogeys during the whole tournament.
Ryu, 24, is the third consecutive South Korean to win on the LPGA Tour, after Lee Mi-rim claimed the Meijer LPGA Classic and Park In-bee won the Wegmans LPGA Championship, the fourth major of the season.
After Choi, Park finished third at 18-under for a 1-2-3 finish for South Koreans. Lee Mi-hyang was the next best South Korean at a three-way tie for 16th at 9-under.
Ryu said afterward it felt good to be doused in champagne again on the final green after the last putt found the cup.
"I've been waiting so long for the champagne," Ryu said. "I was ready to get champagne. I put champagne on In-bee maybe more than five times, but finally she gave it to me. So it feels great."
Ryu put together a bogey-free front nine and picked up four birdies along the way. She gave a shot back with a bogey on the
par-5 10th and then had another bogey on the par-4 15th. Choi, playing in the same final threesome as Ryu, cut the deficit to one shot but missed a six-foot birdie putt on the par-5 16th that would have pulled her into a tie.
On the same hole, Ryu made a birdie to restore a two-shot advantage over Choi.
Choi missed another birdie opportunity on the par-3 17th while Ryu made par on the hole. Another par on the finishing hole closed out the victory for Ryu.
"It could sound cocky, but after I made a birdie at the ninth hole I was sure I could win," Ryu said. "But Na-yeon almost chased me down, so I was pretty nervous at that moment. I made a really great birdie at 16, and after that I was a bit relieved."
Even during her drought, Ryu had been one of the LPGA Tour's most consistent players, with 27 top-10s since her previous victory in August 2012.
She said she would gladly take a win rather than finish in the top 10 every week.
"The good thing is I still had a lot of opportunities the last couple months and couple years, then finally I made it," Ryu said.
"I did trust myself. I was really focused on my game."