Ryu Sews Up LPGA Rookie of the Year Award

After her fifth-place finish in the Taiwan Championship Sunday, South Korea's So Yeon Ryu has secured the LPGA Tour's Rookie of the Year award even though there are still three tournaments remaining this season.

The 22-year-old has 1,306 points and cannot be caught by the next-highest rookie, Lexi Thompson, who has 779 points. Two other Americans - Lizette Salas and Sydnee Michaels - are third and fourth in the standings with 333 and 297 points, respectively.

Ryu won the 2011 U.S. Women's Open champion as a non-member of the LPGA Tour. As a 2012 rookie, she won Jamie Farr Toledo Classic en route to becoming the eighth Korean to receive the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year honor.

"First of all, I want to give thanks to Se Ri Pak, Hee Won Han, Grace Park and all of the first-generation Korean players because they opened up our road and we can follow in their steps," said Ryu, who has 14 top-10 finishes in 22 starts this year.

"This year the rookie class was so strong with Lexi Thompson, Sydnee Michaels and a lot of really, really great players, so it's an honor to win the award."

Ryu's highest finish in a major this year was a fifth in the Women's British Open at Royal Liverpool. She's in the top-10 of seven statistical categories including top-10 finish percentage, birdies, putts per greens in regulation, rounds in the 60's, scoring average, rounds under par and eagles.

She now has her eyes set on emulating Taiwan's Yani Tseng as the No. 1-ranked player in the world. "Yani Tseng is No. 1 on the Rolex Rankings and she was a Rookie of the Year, so I really want to take that road and follow in Yani's steps now," Ryu said.