Chicago (AFP) – Former US Women’s Open winner Ryu So-yeon claimed her first title of 2018 with a closing five-under 67 at the LPGA Tour’s Meijer Classic on Sunday.
The 27-year-old South Korean finished with a 21-under 267 total at Blythefield Country Club to beat runner-up Caroline Masson by two strokes and earn her sixth career win.
Ryu said the win will lift her spirits heading into the next major, the June 28-July 1 Women’s PGA Championship.
“I haven’t played well at the major events this year yet, so hopefully this win is going to give me extra confidence to focus on major tournament,” she said.
New Zealand’s Lydia Ko shot a 67 to finish third at 18 under at the Grand Rapids, Michigan course.
Third round leaders Anna Nordqvist and Lee-Ann Pace finished in a tie for fourth with three others at 17-under 271. Nordqvist and South Africa’s Pace each shot 73 on Sunday after firing almost identical rounds of 64 in the third round.
Jacqui Concolino (66), Azahara Munoz (68) and Angela Stanford (70) also finished a 17 under.
It is Ryu’s first title since last year’s NW Arkansas Championship. She also won the US Open in 2011 and followed that with a rookie of the year award in 2012.
But Ryu has struggled this season making the top 10 just twice in her first 11 tournaments. That’s in sharp contrast to last season when the former world number one finished in the top 10 nine times in her first 11 events.
“If I look back on my season, I wasn’t really satisfied with it and I’ve been really, really struggling, I had a lot of crazy moments,” said Ryu.
“I had some good rounds, I had some really bad rounds, so I couldn’t even really finish top-10 much compared to any other season. So all those reasons just drove me crazy.”
Reigning US Women’s Open winner Ariya Jutanugarn fired a tournament-record 62. Ariya made eagle on number eight after making birdie on five of her first seven holes. She added three more birdies on the back nine.
Ariya, of Thailand, finished just one shot back of sister Moriya who closed with a four-under 68 on Sunday.