Ryu Captures Jamie Farr Toledo Classic

So Yeon Ryu closed with a spectacular 9-under-par 62 to win the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic by seven strokes. The $1.3 million LPGA Tour event started Thursday at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio.

1st Green of the Champion Course at PGA National

Ryu posted three birdies on the front nine and then reeled off five straight birdies at the start of the home half to leave the field in her dust. Appropriately, she closed with a birdie on the par-5 closing hole for her 62.

Ryu, who shared the 54-hole lead with fellow South Koreans I.K. Kim, Jiyai Shin and Hee Kyung Seo, ended up at 20-under 264, earning $195,000.

Alone in second at 13-under was American Angela Stanford (66), while another stroke back were Inbee Park and Chella Choi, who each shot 69. Sharing fifth at 11-under were American Jennie Lee (67) and Kim (71).

Shin closed with a 72 to end up in seventh at 10-under with Japan's Mika Miyazato (71) and Seo posted a 73 to end up in ninth at 9-under 275 with Spain's Beatriz Ricari (69)

Surprisingly, the victory was Ryu's first the 2011 U.S. Women's Open. That wasn't lost on the 22-year-old. "It feels surreal," she told reporters. "I can't believe it. Actually, after the U.S. Open, I don't have any wins, so that's why I really am waiting for this win. And I heard of this tournament supports charity, so I'm really honored to be champion of this great tournament, and thanks for the support from everybody." (See below for her full post-round interview.)

Stanford was one player impressed with Ryu's final round, which was four strokes lower than the next-best score on Sunday. "When I looked at the leaderboard on 14, I think she was at 16 at that point. I thought, she's obviously having a great day. I've always said that is the tough thing about golf.

"There is nothing you can do about people playing well. You just have to play better, and I didn't today. That's why it's so important to be near the lead going into the final day here, because anybody can take it deep. On any given Sunday they can go low here."

For all the scores, visit http://www.lpgascoring.com/public/Leaderboard.aspx.

After signing her card, Ryu met with reporters for the following Q&A.

MODERATOR: We have So Yeon Ryu in the interview room. Your first official win on the LPGA Tour; how does it feel?

SO YEON RYU: It feels surreal. I can't believe it. Actually, after the U.S. Open, I don't have any wins, so that's why I really am waiting for this win. And I heard of this tournament supports charity, so I'm really honored to be champion of this great tournament, and thanks for the support from everybody.

Q. I know on number 9 you had, I guess, six consecutive birdies. Can you just take me through your scorecard for the day and what all you did well?

SO YEON RYU: First of all, the last three days I made a bogey on the first hole, but today I made a par. So I felt like, oh, maybe two days I'll have a chance. So I think that's why I got confidence. And I think today my ball striking was pretty great. So I made a lot of birdie chances, but I missed a lot on the front nine. But hole 9 I made a really long putt, and then my confidence level was going up, so that's why I made six in a row birdie on the back nine. I felt really, really great. And I think my birdies finished at 14, yeah, 14. So 15, 16, 17 I got a par, but felt like bogeys. Even it felt like a little weird. But anyway, I finished the birdie on the last hole, so I felt so great. I'm just really, really happy, and I'm so glad to win this tournament.

Q. Can you take me through your birdies what you had into there and how long the puts were?

SO YEON RYU: The 9 hole, I think almost 10 meters, yeah. I use meters, so I don't know the feet. I'm sorry. And hole 10 is 8 feet. And 11, 10 feet, 12 is 15 feet, and 13, 2 feet, and 14, 8 feet, and the last hole was 2 feet, 1 feet, yeah.

Q. The birdie that got you started was on number 9. You had missed two or three relatively short birdie putts before that. Did you feel - you had mentioned about the confidence level after you made that. Is that what you kind of needed was a lift to see that you could actually have a ball go into a cup?

SO YEON RYU: Actually, timing is really important in golf. So I felt like I must have success with the birdie on hole 7 and 8, but I missed it. So it made me nervous because I really wanted to win this tournament. But actually I have one friend who is a gymnastic player, actually she finished the Olympics yesterday, and she said that the rhythm gymnastics has four part of different ones. So after finishing the two, she finished the third, and she said she kept thinking in her mind that oh, maybe I have a chance to get a medal. But she's thinking of that, and then missed it. She had some mistakes.

So I learned from there that I don't want to think about winning. I just want to think of the game and my score. Yesterday a writer asked me the Korean players play constantly no lower than 6 under, 5 under, so I thought, oh, I want to keep the low score in this tournament. So I had 9 under, and I feel great.

Q. So did you talk to your friend?

SO YEON RYU: Yeah, yeah. She helped me a lot. Actually, she's four years younger than me, but she's qualified for the first time in the final for the Korean rhythm gymnastics. She's really great. Especially her psychologist is same as mine, and she said just enjoy your tournament. Especially yesterday, Dave Stockton, my coach sent a message for me that said just keep smiling and have fun and just relax your body. So at the course, I wasn't thinking about winning. I was just thinking about all of their advice.

Q. What is your friend's name?

SO YEON RYU: Yeon Jae Son.

Q. You were doing great on 14 (Indiscernible)?

SO YEON RYU: Actually, today is the first time I made it on that one.

Q. It almost went in the hole, right down on the green.

SO YEON RYU: Yeah, it looked like I made a hole in one, but anyway, I made a birdie. But it feels really, really great. Actually, 14 is the hardest hole, but I made birdie, so I felt so great at that moment.

Q. Warming up for your round on the range and around the green, did you feel like today might be something special for you?

SO YEON RYU: Actually, I like the hottest day, so I think that's why I'm playing great today. Actually I don't like cold weather. I like hot weather. Today the weather is really warm, so the ball was going a little farther. So today my drive shot was really great. So I was a little more comfortable to make a great second shot. So the warm weather helped me a lot.

Q. A lot of players who win their first tournament almost unexpectedly when they win it really early in their career, it makes it more difficult. The pressure builds on them because the expectations are high when they're younger. Did you feel that? Was there a point where you thought, boy, I wonder if I'm going to win another one?

SO YEON RYU: Especially, yes in the major tournaments, that's why everybody kept me with really high expectations. I have no wins after that, so some are disappointed for me, and I couldn't feel like that. So I really wanted to make a win as soon as possible, and today I made it. So I can't wait to come back to Korea after the Canadian Open. This is just my turning point. I just want to make a lot of wins again.

Q. Your mom was out there?


Q. Did she follow you around to every Tour stop?

SO YEON RYU: Yeah, she is always traveling with me. She helped me a lot. I have a psychologist, but she's one of my psychologists (laughing). How can I say, I'm her daughter, so she really knows me. She explains about, oh, you look like upset or you look like something, and she always says just keep smiling and enjoy your golf. I just want you to leave happier. Because sometimes I compare to a lot of players - always I compare to a lot of players, so there is a lot of pressure on me. So sometimes I can't enjoy my life. But she always says just enjoy your life, and you love golf. That's why you're playing golf. So you have to enjoy your golf and life. She always says that to me.

Q. Did your psychologist come too?

SO YEON RYU: No, actually, I think now she's arrived in Korea because she actually last week and this week she was staying in London with my friend, the rhythm gymnastic players. But yesterday I heard from her and she gave me really great advice. So, yeah, I have another psychologist, but my mom is one of my psychologists. Not a professional psychologist, but anyway, she is my best psychologist.

Q. Could you spell your friend's name?

SO YEON RYU: Yeon Jae Son.

Q. You were not over in London last week to watch her, were you?

SO YEON RYU: No, I couldn't. But I hope. I want to go into 2016 Olympic Games.

Q. You've had a really strong year coming off your win last year. Do you see this kind of consistency going forward? Are you going to get to number 1 in the world? Are you going to challenge Yani and the top players?

SO YEON RYU: Yeah, absolutely. I want to get into the number 1 player in the world. But now I'm just focusing on the LPGA Tour, and I'm still learning a lot of things. This is my first win officially on the LPGA Tour. And mostly I want to play consistently, and I want to make a lot of winning trends. But still my short game is not perfect, because I think just to show Yani, her short game is a lot better than me, so I just want to keep practicing my short game, and I want to learn a lot of things.

Q. You mentioned Dave Stockton. Are you working with someone for chipping then?

SO YEON RYU: Yeah, I'm working with Dave Stockton since this year, February. And we are working together with putting and chipping, and Ian Triggs is my swing coach and short game coach. Actually, the short game is both.

Q. When you have two psychologists, did you have a lot of pressure built up on you? Do you have a lot of thing that's you're trying to work through mentally? And what does winning this championship do to that?

SO YEON RYU: Actually, I have my favorite picture. I took a picture at the 2006 Asian games. I have a gold medal at the Asian games, and really, I'd like to watch the picture. So if I'm nervous on the golf course, I can imagine that picture, and if I imagine that picture, my mind's getting calm.

Q. Where is it?

SO YEON RYU: It's on my computer.

Q. Is there any one thing that Stockton worked with you technically on putting that you picked up?

SO YEON RYU: Actually, the big thing is before I used my two hands. Yeah, I'm still using my two hands, but Dave said always the left hand is more focused on the left hand. So, yeah, these days I practiced a lot of one hand practicing, just the left hand practicing. That's helped me a lot. But I think I need something. Still I need something, and especially next week, Ian Triggs and Dave are coming to Portland, so I can't wait to meet them.

The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.