By Andrew Both
OLYMPIA FIELDS, Illinois (Reuters) – South Korea’s Ryu So-yeon did not quite finish off her first week as world number one in style, stumbling with four late bogeys at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship on Sunday, but said she would be ready to challenge at this month’s U.S Open.
Starting the day five strokes off the lead, she picked up three birdies on the front nine to move into contention, but a three-putt bogey from inside 10 feet at the 13th hole proved to be the turning point as her challenge petered out.
Ryu carded a one-ver-par 72 to finish equal 14th at four-under 280, nine strokes behind American winner Danielle Kang at Olympia Fields.
It was a disappointing end to a week that started with her caddie Tom Watson being presented with the ceremonial number one green bib on the first tee on Thursday.
Ryu said her new status at the top of the women’s game did not make her feel any different once she had teed off.
“Before the tournament I thought it definitely was going to be different but as soon as I started the tournament everything felt the same,” she told Reuters.
“A lot of people cheering for me, (saying) congratulations number one, that was the only special part.”
Her gallery on Sunday was the biggest of the week, if only because she was paired with American Michelle Wie, who finished tied for 20th and is still the biggest attraction for U.S. fans.
Despite her late fade, Ryu spoke confidently about the state of her game heading into the next major, the U.S. Women’s Open at Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey in two weeks’ time.
“I could not see any bad side about my game,” she said. “I think it (was) just really unlucky, so if I have some good rest next week I think I’m going to be ready for another major.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both; Editing by Ken Ferris)