LONDON, Ontario (AP) ― Ryu So-yeon missed out on the LPGA Tour’s 72-hole scoring record. She got the champagne shower she was longing for on the final green- reversing roles with Park In-bee.
“I’ve been waiting so long for the champagne,” Ryu said Sunday after winning the Canadian Women’s Open for her third LPGA Tour victory. “I was ready to get champagne. I put champagne on Inbee maybe more than five times. Finally, she gave it to me.”
While Ryu fell short of Sorenstam’s tour record of 27 under, she finished at 23 under at London Hunt to break the tournament record for relation to par by five shots.
“I’m a bit disappointed I couldn’t reach Annika’s record,” Ryu said.
The 24-year-old Ryu closed with a 3-under 69 to hold off fellow South Korean player Choi Na-yeon by two strokes. Park ― the LPGA Championship winner last week ― completed a South Korean sweep of the first three spots, shooting a 68 to finish at 18 under.
Korea’s Ryu So-yeon poses with the winner’s trophy at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open on Sunday. (USA Today-Yonhap)
The three players are close friends ― Ryu and Choi will be bride’s maids at Park’s October wedding ― and dined together Wednesday night at a sushi restaurant.
“After I signed my card, Na-yeon asked me, ‘Why don’t we go to have dinner every Wednesday night,’” said Ryu, projected to jump from ninth to fifth in the world ranking. “I think we’re going to stick with that.”
Ryu opened with a course-record 63 and added rounds of 66 and 67 to take a four-stroke lead into the final day. She took a six-shot advantage to the back nine, but that dropped to a single stroke when she bogeyed the par-4 15th and Choi made a birdie.
“When she missed that putt, I thought, ‘Maybe I could have a chance,’” Choi said.
Ryu rebounded with a birdie on the par-5 16th and closed with two pars.
“I thought, ‘Everybody’s nervous and Na-yeon’s nervous, definitely,’ so I just accepted my nervousness and I just tried to enjoy it,” Ryu said.
Ryu earned $337,500 for the wire-to-wire victory. Since winning the 2012 Jamie Farr Toledo Classic, she had 27 top-10 finishes in 49 events without a victory.
“I had quite a lot of experience, especially failed experience,” said Ryu, also the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open winner. “I think that experience helped me a lot. I’ve been waiting so much. I really want to hug myself.
“One of my friends asked me, ‘So-yeon, do you want to finish top 10 every tournament or you just want to win one tournament and miss the cut every tournament?’ I said, ‘It’s a really hard question, but at this stage, I really need to win.’”
Choi is winless since the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open.
Mahan comes up with timely win
PARAMUS, New Jersey (AP) ― About the only thing that went wrong for Hunter Mahan at The Barclays was when the trophy broke. All he had to show for perhaps the biggest win of his career was a large wreath of roses.
“Am I supposed to put this on, Kentucky Derby style?” he said.
That would have been fitting. The closing stretch was exactly what he needed Sunday.
Mahan pulled away with three straight birdies, sealing the victory with a 20-foot putt down the slope on the par-5 17th. That allowed him a bogey from the trees on the final hole for a 6-under 65 and a two-shot victory in the opening FedEx Cup playoff event.
He already has two World Golf Championships. Considering the timing, The Barclays felt bigger.
Mahan had gone 48 tournaments and nearly 30 months since his last victory. The only player to never miss a FedEx Cup playoff event, he wanted to keep alive his streak of reaching the Tour Championship every year since this series began in 2007. And he wanted to state his case for a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup team.
This performance will be hard for U.S. captain Tom Watson to ignore.
“To get a win in an event like this, and the timing that it was, it feels unbelievable,” Mahan said.
“This game is all about winning,” he said. “You can have a great year and if you don’t win, it just feels like you missed out on something. So to get a win, and do it in a tournament like this in this kind of fashion with a 65 on Sunday, feels great.”
On a day when six players had at least a share of the lead, Mahan found a way to make it look like a comfortable win at Ridgewood.
He rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt to take the outright lead on the par-3 15th, hit wedge to 3 feet for a birdie on the 16th and then rolled in a 20-foot birdie on the par-5 17th. That stretched his lead to three shots going to the final hole when Cameron Tringale bogeyed the 18th.