So Yeon Ryu wins CP Women's Open

LPGA golfer So Yeon Ryu (KOR) hits her tee shot on the eighth hole during the final round of the...

LPGA golfer So Yeon Ryu (KOR) hits her tee shot on the eighth hole during the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women's Open golf tournament at London Hunt and Country Club. (Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)

Ryan Pyette, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 7:11 PM ET

She obliterated the tournament's four-day record score relative to par.

She left London with a share of the Hunt Club's course record of 63.

The only thing So Yeon Ryu couldn't do at the $2.25 million CP Women's Open this past week was track down a legend.

Ryu's final-round 69 Sunday and 23-under-par 265 total over 72 holes gave her a wire-to-wire win, two-shot victory over fellow Korean Na Yeon Choi and a cheque for $337,500, but Annika Sorenstam's 27-under-par at the 2001 Standard Register Ping event remains the LPGA's all-time lowest score.

My goal was to make eight-under because of that (Sorenstam) record thing (that's) one thing I'm disappointed in, the 24-year-old said. But without that (goal), I would've paid more attention to other players and I didn't want to do that.

I really did a great job (handling the pressure) and I really want to hug myself.

She had to settle for a champagne shower from International Crown teammates Inbee Park and I.K. Kim on the 18th green while basking in the glow of her first tour victory in two years.

Park, who captured the LPGA Championship the previous week and correctly predicted the winner here would be 20-under or better, said it's easier to come from behind than try to hold the lead all four days. Ryu carried that weight well by stomping on the Canadian tournament's former best score of 18-under (by Meg Mallon at Niagara Falls in 2004 and Brandie Burton in 1998 at the Essex club in Windsor).

Fifteen golfers finished at least 10-under par throughout the week.

I've been waiting for the champagne I put the champagne on Inbee five times now (over the past few years), said Ryu, the 2011 U.S. Women's Open champ and one of the tour's most consistent performers. At this stage, I really needed to win. I'd take that instead of finishing top 10 every week.

I had a lot of failed experience. I think (those near-misses) helped me a lot.

Choi, who shot a final-round 67, put a scare in her compatriot by pulling within a stroke late when she sank a birdie putt on 15 and Ryu made only her third bogey in four days. But Ryu, who lost to Choi by two strokes at the season-ending CME Group event two years ago, recovered with a birdie on the 16th hole to restore a two-shot cushion.

I thought maybe I could have a chance, too (after 15), but I can't control her score, Choi said. I asked So Yeon on the last hole when was the last time you won the LPGA tour, and she said more than two years, and that's more than me.

She's top 10 in the world, always finishes in contention. She's been playing so well, but couldn't win. I gained a lot of confidence this week and have no regrets. Maybe it's my turn (next).

Eight years ago, Cristie Kerr roared back from eight shots down to beat Angela Stanford by one stroke on this course.

Ryu never let Choi pull back to level with her.

It could sound cocky, but after I made a birdie at nine, I was sure I could win, she said. Na Yeon was chasing me down and I was pretty nervous at that moment. But I could trust myself. Other times, when I had a chance to win, I thought I have to make this (and win) or I would be a loser. That attitude made me crazy, but maybe now, I can more enjoy my golf and top 10 finishes.

The three top Koreans Ryu, Choi, Park combined for a 62-under score. Korea is are among the world's great women's golfing nations, but the country hadn't won a Canadian title since Meena Lee in 2005 at Halifax (unless you count Korean-born two-time winner Lydia Ko, who plays for New Zealand).

Hopefully, we play well until the end of the season, Choi said. We've known each other since elementary school and have been good friends. Even after International Crown (last month), we're getting closer to each other, actually truly knowing each other more.

It seems like we grew up and matured after that lot of pressure.

They dined together before this tournament, then tore up the course en masse.

In October, Ryu, Choi and Kim will stand up at Park's wedding.

They will be bridesmaids then.

But for Ryu now, that long-held label no longer applies.


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