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Golf: Ryu So-yeon overhauls Park In-bee for LET title at Mission Hills

Ryu So-yeon overtook in-form World No. 2 Park In-bee to win her first Ladies European Tour event.

Ryu So-yeon overtook in-form World No. 2 Park In-bee to win her first Ladies European Tour event.

March 15, 2015: Ryu So-yeon came from a stroke behind fellow Korean Park In-bee to capture her first World Ladies Championship, a Ladies European Tour event at Mission Hills Haikou in Hainan.

 

With rounds of 72, 73, 65 and 69 on the par-73 Blackstone Course, the World No. 8 finished on 13-under-par, a stroke ahead of World No. 2 Park, who was seeking a second straight wire-to-wire win to add to her success at the HSBC Women’s Champions, an LPGA event.

 

Ryu, whose three LPGA titles include the 2011 US Women’s Open, played in an all-star final flight with Park and World No. 5 Suzann Pettersen (70), who tied for third on 10-under with Chinese teenager Janet Lin Xiyu (70).

 

“I didn’t expect that I had a chance to win this tournament because in the second and first rounds, I didn’t play really well. Fortunately I was able to shoot eight-under in the third round so after that I was in contention,” Ryu said.

 

“I’m really proud of myself, because it’s good to be back in contention and our group was exciting, with In-bee and Suzann. It was good to play with In-bee, my best friend on the tour. She is not No. 1 right now, but I believe she is the true No. 1, so it was great to compete with her.”

 

The World No. 8 recovered from falling three behind Park to win the World Ladies Championship for the first time.

The World No. 8 recovered from falling three behind Park to win the World Ladies Championship for the first time.

Park, last year’s champion, shared or held the outright lead after each of the first three rounds and began a hot, sunny final day one ahead of Ryu. Her lead was extended to two when Ryu three putted on the first green and then three when Ryu double bogeyed the par-four seventh hole.

 

Undeterred, the 24-year-old quickly made three birdies in four holes from the ninth and was the outright leader after 12.

 

Park birdied the 16th to regain a share of the lead, before Ryu again edged ahead with a birdie on 17. Both faced similar birdie putts on the par-five closing hole, but could not convert them and Ryu tapped in a two feet par putt for the win.

 

“I missed quite a few birdie putts, but In-bee wasn’t able to make a lot and the pressure was a little less, which was helpful,” said Ryu, who finished third last year. “The winning putt, no matter how long it is, is always nervous. My hands were literally shaking.”

 

Park came close to securing a second wire-to-wire win in two weeks.

Park, the 2014 champion, came close to securing a second wire-to-wire win in two weeks.

Park, who last month lost her top ranking to Lydia Ko, said: “It was a consistent day today, but my putts wouldn’t drop into the hole. It was really just the putting that was the only problem and So-yeon played well.

 

“Even with the double bogey, she played really well and I’m really happy for her. If I didn’t win, I kind of hoped that she would win, so it’s kind of good that my best friend won the tournament and I’m ready to congratulate her.”

 

Pettersen, the 2013 champion, was satisfied to finish in a share of third. “My game is slowly getting there. A few silly mistakes is costing too much in competition with these girls, but overall it’s been a good week and tremendous to be back here at Mission Hills.”

 

World No. 5 Suzann Pettersen, the 2013 champion, finished third with Chinese teenager Janet Lin Xiyu.

World No. 5 Suzann Pettersen, the 2013 champion, finished third with Chinese teenager Janet Lin Xiyu.

Lin, now in her second year on the LPGA and third on the LET, was China’s top finisher.

 

“I really hit some good shots and made some tough putts. I made a 12-yard putt on the fourth hole and eight yards from off the green on 13. Unfortunately I missed two one-and-a-half yard birdie putts on 18 and 12, but overall I played okay. This week I didn’t expect too much so I’m quite satisfied.”

 

For the second consecutive year, Ryu and Park, representing South Korea, were the runaway winners of the team event for pairs. With an aggregate total of 559, they ended 15 strokes ahead of Norwegians Marianne Skarpnord and Pettersen.

 

For China’s rising star Lei Ye, who finished in 55th place to claim the leading amateur prize, the whole event was a learning experience.

 

The 13-year-old, who attends international school in Shanghai, said: “I played really well the first day and that gave me more room to make the cut. I’ve noticed from playing in professional tournaments that putting is my weakness. I hope to improve and turn professional someday.”

 

The next Ladies European Tour event is the Lalla Meryem Cup, which will be held in Agadir, Morocco, from March 26-29.

 

World Ladies Championship (LET), Mission Hills Haikou, Hainan, China

279 – So Yeon Ryu (KOR) 72 73 65 69

280 – Inbee Park (KOR) 69 69 71 71

282 – Xiyu Lin (CHN) 71 68 73 70, Suzann Pettersen (NOR) 73 72 67 70

283 – Ursula Wikstrom (FIN) 74 72 68 69

285 – Pamela Pretswell (SCO) 73 72 69 71

286 – Shin-Ae Ahn (KOR) 71 74 71 70

287 – Rebecca Artis (AUS) 72 72 69 74

288 – Holly Clyburn (ENG) 74 65 74 75

291 – Yu-Ling Hsieh (TPE) 75 74 71 71

292 – Becky Morgan (WAL) 69 74 73 76, Pei-Yun Chien (TPE) 74 72 70 76, Marianne Skarpnord (NOR) 77 73 72 70

293 – Melissa Reid (ENG) 73 74 71 75, Nontaya Srisawang (THA) 71 73 73 76, Marion Ricordeau (FRA) 76 73 72 72

294 – Ssu-Chia Cheng (TPE) 73 73 72 76, Nicole Broch Larsen (DEN) 74 70 77 73, Caroline Martens (NOR) 75 74 71 74, Vikki Laing (SCO) 75 72 75 72, Valentine Derrey (FRA) 75 72 72 75

295 – Yuting Shi (CHN) 74 76 76 69, Isabelle Boineau (FRA) 77 72 72 74, Linda Wessberg (SWE) 72 73 73 77, Trish Johnson (ENG) 72 74 74 75, Jing Yan (CHN) 77 73 70 75, Panpan Yan (CHN) 75 70 78 72, Wei Wei Zhang (CHN) 79 68 74 74

296 – Titiya Plucksataporn (THA) 73 75 76 72, Ann-Kathrin Lindner (GER) 77 71 74 74, Tzu-Chi Lin (TPE) 74 72 78 72, Klara Spilkova (CZE) 75 74 71 76

297 – Jade Schaeffer (FRA) 73 75 72 77, Michelle Koh (MYS) 77 72 72 76, Sophie Walker (ENG) 74 75 75 73, Jienalin Zhang (CHN) 74 69 82 72, Alexandra Vilatte (FRA) 72 71 79 75, Cathryn Bristow (NZL) 73 75 77 72

298 – Wanyao Lu (CHN) 73 74 76 75, Wichanee Meechai (THA) 77 73 73 75

299 – Hye In Yeom (KOR) 77 73 75 74, Cai Zhu Guo (CHN) 74 72 76 77, Amy Boulden (WAL) 78 71 75 75, Ye-Na Chung (KOR) 76 73 74 76, Ziqi Ye (CHN) 79 71 75 74

300 – Pavarisa Yoktuan (THA) 71 77 75 77

301 – Mireia Prat (ESP) 73 76 77 75, Malene Jorgensen (DEN) 74 75 76 76

302 – Sophie Giquel-bettan (FRA) 75 74 76 77, Florentyna Parker (ENG) 74 75 74 79

303 – Yu Yang Zhang (CHN) 72 75 82 74

304 – Krista Bakker (FIN) 77 73 74 80, Carin Koch (SWE) 75 73 81 75, Patricia Sanz Barrio (ESP) 73 77 77 77

305 – Lei Ye (CHN) 72 78 79 76

 

Source: Ladies European Tour (www.ladieseuropeantour.com); Editing by SportAsia

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