After waiting for almost three years, South Korean, So Yeon Ryu won her second major on the LPGA Tour.
On Sunday, Ryu defeated Lexi Thompson with a birdie on the first playoff hole. She was flawless and birdied the playoff hole to win the LPGA Tour’s first major of the year. The victory is the fourth career win for Ryu and second major victory – she also has the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open championship in her kitty.
The 26-year-old Ryu won the playoff with a short birdie putt on the par-5, 18th hole after Thompson left her birdie attempt short. That ended a rousing final stretch that saw Thompson, 22, lose a three-stroke lead when penalized for an improper replacement of a ball – from Saturday – but rally for a final-round 67.
Sunday game was full of twists and turns, as there never will be an LPGA major champion, though deserving, who won’t be remembered as much as the runner-up.
The whole drama was created after a television viewer’s email who had alerted officials to a day-old rules violation by Thompson for improper ball placement. The fateful email arrived during Sunday’s final round, alerting officials to the violation committed on Saturday. Thompson marked a 1-foot putt with a coin on the 17th green during her third round, but she replaced the ball perhaps 1 inch out of position.
The viewer witnessed Thompson, during the third round on Saturday, fail to properly replace her ball prior to putting out on the green at the par three, 17th hole. After being reviewed by LPGA Rules officials, Thompson was deemed to have in fact breached Rule 20-7c. Her three-shot lead had just been wiped out by a four-shot penalty.
However, Thompson survived the shock, and she forced a playoff with three gutsy birdies that had the Dinah Shore Course crowd on its feet.
In the meantime, Ryu managed to take advantage of the break created by Thompson’s extraordinary penalty. Ryu played consistently, carding four consecutive sub-70 rounds.
For detailed report, read here