Deja Ryu! In The Biggest Women’s Golf Tournament In The World, The U.S. Women’s Open, So Yeon Ryu Beats Hee Kyung Seo Again In A Three Hole Playoff

So Yeon Ryu, 2011 United States Women's Open Champion

There might be some, even some dedicated golf fans, who didn’t know who So Yeon Ryu was before her 3 hole playoff with Hee Kyung Seo at the 2011 United States Women’s Open at The Broadmoor. Seo, however, knows full well just who Ryu is. They are friends, and rivals, from the Korean LPGA. In 2009, Hee Kyung Seo was the KLPGA Player of the Year with So Yeon Ryu finishing second.

2009 Most Popular Golfer Winner, So Yeon Ryu, in the center and Player of the Year, Hee Kyung Seo, on the right

Seo was the clear Player of the Year in 2009, but a look at some key statistics from the 2009 KLPGA season will show that Ryu was right on her heels in most categories. Also in the mix at the top of the KLPGA in 2009 was Sun Ju Ahn, who would go to the Japan LPGA (JLPGA) in 2010, winning Player of the Year on that tour in her rookie season.

So Yeon Ryu, Hee Kyung Seo

MONEY LIST (Korean Won-KRW) (cuts made/starts)

1. Hee Kyung Seo 663,759,286 (18/18 )
2. So Yeon Ryu 597,856,500 (18/18 )
3. Sun Ju Ahn 248,406,429 (15/15)
4. Jung Eun Lee 241,842,000 (14/17)
5. Bo Mi Lee 215,038,797 (17/18 )
6. Hye Yong Choi 169,618,340 (18/18 )
7. Ha Neul Kim 167,965,380 (18/18 )
8. Ji Na Lim 152,901,749 (16/17)
9. Bo Kyung Kim 141,513,880 (14/17)
10. Hyun Ji Kim 139,349,643 (16/17)

SCORING AVERAGE [events played]

1. Hee Kyung Seo 70.51 [18]
2. Sun Ju Ahn 70.61 [15]
3. So Yeon Ryu 71.02 [18]
4. Bo Mi Lee 71.90 [18]
5. Ha Neul Kim 71.94 [18]
6. Ae Ri Pyeon 72.02 [18]
7. Jung Eun Lee 72.13 [17]
8. Hee Jung Kim 72.34 [14]
9. Soo Young Moon 72.48 [15]
10. Rang Hong 72.57 [18]

Hee Kyung Seo

BIRDIE AVERAGE

1. Hee Kyung Seo 3.86 [18]
2. Sun Ju Ahn 3.75 [15]
3. So Yeon Ryu 3.63 [18]
4. Ha Neul Kim 3.47 [18]
5. Jung Eun Lee 3.30 [17]
6. Bo Mi Lee 3.10 [18]
7. Soo Young Moon 3.08 [15]
8. Soo Jin Yang 3.07 [17]
9. Ji Na Lim 3.00 [17]
T10. Yu Na Park 2.93 [17]
T10. Young Ran Jo 2.93 [17]

TOP TEN PERCENTAGE

1. Sun Ju Ahn 80.00 [12/15]
T2. Hee Kyung Seo 72.22 [13/18]
T2. So Yeon Ryu 72.22 [13/18]
4. Bo Mi Lee 44.44 [8/18]
T5. Ha Neul Kim 38.89 [7/18]
T5. Ae Ri Pyeon 38.89 [7/18]
7. Hee Jung Kim 35.71 [5/14]
8. Jung Eun Lee 35.29 [6/17]
T9. Bo Kyung Kim 29.41 [5/17]
T9. Soo Jin Yang 29.41 [5/17]
T9. Ji Na Lim 29.41 [5/17]

So Yeon Ryu

PERCENTAGE OF ROUNDS IN THE 60s

1. Hee Kyung Seo 43.40
2. Sun Ju Ahn 31.82
3. So Yeon Ryu 30.19
4. Bo Mi Lee 26.92
5. Soo Young Moon 22.50
6. Jung Eun Lee 19.15
7. Ji Na Lim 18.75
8. Hee Jung Kim 18.42
9. Bo Kyung Kim 17.02
10. Ha Neul Kim 16.98

Hee Kyung Seo won 5 times in 2009, also trumping Ryu by winning 3 of 4 KLPGA Majors. Ryu had never won a Major on any tour until…ok, I’ll get to that in a bit. Not only did Seo and Ryu perform with and against each other on the course, they danced together at the 2009 KLPGA Awards show.

Hee Kyung Seo

So Yeon Ryu and Bo Mi Lee (Bo Mi was 2010 KLPGA Player of the Year)

Starting the 2010 KLPGA season, So Yeon Ryu needed to make a statement that she would not stay in Hee Kyung Seo’s shadow. Ryu did so immediately, in the season’s first event, the 2009 Orient China Open. Yes, that is not a typo. The 2010 KLPGA season actually started with one tournament at the end of 2009, not in Korea but in China. Ryu and Seo were headline participants, along with 2008 LPGA Rookie of the Year, and future #1, Yani Tseng. In the three round event, Seo picked up where she left off in 2009 season, grabbing the lead and holding it by 2 shots over Ryu going into the final round. But Seo could not hold the lead as Ryu tied her at 5-under, forcing a three hole playoff. Ryu won on the third playoff hole, denying Seo an opening win in the first event of the 2010 season.

So Yeon Ryu

As exciting as that three hole playoff was for fans of Ryu and Seo, it would pale next to the playoff the two would play at The Broadmoor on Monday, July 11th, 2011. The prize: the greatest trophy in women’s golf at the U.S. Women’s Open. Playing into the twilight on Sunday, Seo could have given herself a greater lead, but dropped from 4-under to 3-under on the 17th hole as the wind kicked up and Seo’s steady putting betrayed her as she lipped out a very routine par putt. She immediately covered her face with both hands. Although play was suspended and the tournament would go on another day, it was in that moment the sands of victory slipped through Seo’s hands.

Ryu, Seo

With Angela Stanford and Cristie Kerr unable to catch Seo at 3-under, it was Ryu who would come from behind to birdie 18 to force a three hole playoff. With the greatest Korean player of all time, Se Ri Pak, watching Hee Kyung and So Yeon would battle for the title in the event that made Pak a national hero back home in 1998. Ryu and Seo traded pars on the first hole of the playoff, #16. On the following hole, the 600 yard par 5 17th, Seo mishit a draw with her driver far right into a fairway bunker while Ryu found the fairway. Although Seo punched out to the fairway, she was a good 260 yards from the hole and 235 from the green. But the distance would prove a secondary problem as Seo flew into the right side rough. Meanwhile, Ryu stuck her third shot to 6 feet from the flag. Ryu made birdie while Seo made bogey. After trailing until the 72 hole of regulation, Ryu was poised to take another win from Seo. And she did. On the final hole of the aggregate three hole playoff, #18, Ryu ended it with another birdie to win her first ever Major on any tour, and the biggest win of her career. Perhaps she is a new name to some, but to those of us who have followed both Ryu and Seo since their days on the KLPGA, this was a sequel to a movie we had seen before.

SO YEON RYU

with her hero, Se Ri Pak

with low amateur Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand

HEE KYUNG SEO

POS START CNTRY PLAYER TO PAR THRU TODAY R1 R2 R3 R4 TOTAL MONEY
1 T1 KOR RYU, So Yeon -3 F -2 74 69 69 69 281 $585,000
2 T4 KOR SEO, Hee Kyung -3 F -3 72 73 68 68 281 $350,000
3 T1 USA KERR, Cristie -1 F E 71 72 69 71 283 $215,493
4 T1 USA STANFORD, Angela E F +1 72 70 70 72 284 $150,166
5 T4 JPN MIYAZATO, Mika +1 F +1 70 67 76 72 285 $121,591
T6 T8 AUS WEBB, Karrie +2 F E 70 73 72 71 286 $98,128
T6 T6 JPN MIYAZATO, Ai +2 F +1 70 68 76 72 286 $98,128
T6 T6 KOR PARK, Inbee +2 F +1 71 73 70 72 286 $98,128
9 T12 USA O’TOOLE, Ryann +3 F E 69 72 75 71 287 $81,915
T10 T21 KOR SHIN, Jiyai +4 F -1 73 72 73 70 288 $70,996
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T10 T17 KOR YANG, Amy +4 F E 75 69 73 71 288 $70,996
T10 T8 KOR KIM, I.K. +4 F +2 70 69 76 73 288 $70,996
T13 T17 KOR CHOI, Chella +5 F +1 71 76 70 72 289 $60,780
T13 T12 TPE KUNG, Candie +5 F +2 76 69 71 73 289 $60,780
T15 T39 ENG STUPPLES, Karen +6 F -3 72 77 73 68 290 $48,658
T15 T21 NOR PETTERSEN, Suzann +6 F +1 71 75 72 72 290 $48,658
T15 T17 THA GULYANAMITTA, Junthima +6 F +2 73 76 68 73 290 $48,658
T15 T17 TPE TSENG, Yani +6 F +2 73 73 71 73 290 $48,658
T15 T8 USA SALAS, Lizette +6 F +4 69 73 73 75 290 $48,658
T15 T8 USA CREAMER, Paula +6 F +4 72 70 73 75 290 $48,658
T21 T26 SCT MATTHEW, Catriona +7 F E 76 70 74 71 291 $36,374
T21 T21 KOR LEE, Meena +7 F +2 75 71 72 73 291 $36,374
T21 T21 USA PRESSEL, Morgan +7 F +2 75 72 71 73 291 $36,374
T21 T12 USA LINDLEY, Leta +7 F +4 73 71 72 75 291 $36,374
T25 T32 KOR JEON, Mi-Jeong +8 F E 72 73 76 71 292 $30,122
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T25 25 KOR YOO, Sun Young +8 F +2 74 68 77 73 292 $30,122
T27 T44 USA LINCICOME, Brittany +9 F -1 75 74 74 70 293 $24,042
T27 T44 JPN YOKOMINE, Sakura +9 F -1 72 74 77 70 293 $24,042
T27 T26 ESP RECARI, Beatriz +9 F +2 76 72 72 73 293 $24,042
T27 T26 USA WALSHE, Alison +9 F +2 74 73 73 73 293 $24,042
T27 T12 KOR JI, Eun-Hee +9 F +6 73 69 74 77 293 $24,042
T32 T39 USA GULBIS, Natalie +10 F +1 73 75 74 72 294 $21,189
T32 T32 THA *JUTANUGARN, Moriya +10 F +2 76 69 76 73 294
T34 T39 JPN MOROMIZATO, Shinobu +11 F +2 76 72 74 73 295 $18,370
T34 T32 USA HARIGAE, Mina +11 F +3 75 74 72 74 295 $18,370
T34 T32 DEU GAL, Sandra +11 F +3 77 72 72 74 295 $18,370
T34 T32 SWE HJORTH, Maria +11 F +3 70 78 73 74 295 $18,370
T34 T26 USA LEWIS, Stacy +11 F +4 68 73 79 75 295 $18,370
T34 T26 USA KORDA, Jessica +11 F +4 73 75 72 75 295 $18,370
T34 T26 KOR KIM, Song-Hee +11 F +4 73 73 74 75 295 $18,370
T34 T12 USA WARD, Wendy +11 F +8 73 69 74 79 295 $18,370
T42 T58 CHN FENG, Shanshan +12 F E 76 72 77 71 296 $14,943
T42 T39 SWE SJODIN, Karin +12 F +3 74 73 75 74 296 $14,943
T42 T32 USA FRANCELLA, Meaghan +12 F +4 76 73 72 75 296 $14,943
T45 T49 USA HURST, Vicky +13 F +2 76 72 76 73 297 $12,458
T45 T49 KOR PARK, Hee Young +13 F +2 73 71 80 73 297 $12,458
T45 T49 ESP MUNOZ, Azahara +13 F +2 74 71 79 73 297 $12,458
T45 T44 USA JOHNSON, Jennifer +13 F +3 75 74 74 74 297 $12,458
T45 T32 KOR PAK, Se Ri +13 F +5 74 70 77 76 297 $12,458
T50 T68 USA LANG, Brittany +14 F E 72 74 81 71 298 $9,790
T50 T58 KOR PAK, Jin Young +14 F +2 77 72 76 73 298 $9,790
T50 T49 KOR YANG, Soo-Jin +14 F +3 75 74 75 74 298 $9,790
T50 T49 CAN KIM, Sue +14 F +3 73 74 77 74 298 $9,790
T50 T39 AUS WRIGHT, Lindsey +14 F +5 76 71 75 76 298 $9,790
T55 T68 USA WIE, Michelle +15 F +1 78 71 78 72 299 $8,680
T55 T64 USA BORDNER, Danah +15 F +2 73 74 79 73 299 $8,680
T55 T49 ZAF PACE, Lee-Anne +15 F +4 75 72 77 75 299 $8,680
T55 T44 COL URIBE, Mariajo +15 F +5 75 69 79 76 299 $8,680
T59 T58 USA KIM, Yoo Kyeong +16 F +4 74 74 77 75 300 $8,141
T59 T49 USA *DUNCAN, Lindy +16 F +5 70 78 76 76 300
T59 T49 ARG *TANCO, Victoria +16 F +5 78 69 77 76 300
T59 T44 MYS CHUA, Jean +16 F +6 77 69 77 77 300 $8,141
63 T68 USA *ANDERSON, Amy +17 F +3 69 77 81 74 301
T64 72 USA ALVAREZ, Anya Sarai +18 F E 73 76 82 71 302 $7,735
T64 T68 KOR AHN, Shin-Ae +18 F +4 74 75 78 75 302 $7,735
T64 T64 JPN NOMURA, Haru +18 F +5 77 70 79 76 302 $7,735
T64 T58 WAL MORGAN, Becky +18 F +6 75 72 78 77 302 $7,735
68 T49 USA *KANG, Danielle +19 F +8 72 77 75 79 303
69 T64 COL MORENO, Paola +20 F +7 73 76 77 78 304 $7,408
70 T64 USA STEINHAUER, Sherri +21 F +8 72 76 78 79 305 $7,277
71 T58 FRA NOCERA, Gwladys +23 F +11 78 71 76 82 307 $7,146
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3 thoughts on “Deja Ryu! In The Biggest Women’s Golf Tournament In The World, The U.S. Women’s Open, So Yeon Ryu Beats Hee Kyung Seo Again In A Three Hole Playoff

  1. Pingback: 2009 Orient China Ladies Open (12/17-12/19) - Page 2 - LPGA Tour Forum

  2. Ryu,

    Congrats,

    As a resident of this beautiful state for my entire life, 41 years, I like to say that I could’nt be happier to call you our United States champion. You are now intimately tied to our state, which by the way means, of the color red. Your greatest achievement in golf happened here, I hope you fell in love with Colorado. You are now on a very short list of US Open champions in this state. Do your homework to learn the others–you’ll be happy to know of them. If you do plan to play in the LPGA, visit Colorado often and don’t under estimate the state’s hospitality.

    Thank you so much for the performance!

    David

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