So Yeon Ryu wins in Arkansas; 1st 2-time winner this year


The Associated Press

ROGERS, Ark. — So Yeon Ryu became the LPGA Tour’s first two-time winner this season, taking the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship on Sunday with a tournament-record 18-under 195 total.

Five strokes ahead after a course-record 10-uner 61 on Saturday, the third-ranked Ryu closed with a 69 for a two-shot victory over fellow South Korean player Amy Yang and Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn.

Ryu has five LPGA Tour victories, also winning the major ANA Inspiration in April in a playoff with Lexi Thompson. Ryu won at Pinnacle Country Club four years after losing a playoff to Inbee Park in event.

Yang finished with a 64, and Jutanugarn had a 66.

Local favorite Stacy Lewis (69) and Michelle Wie (64) tied for fourth at 13 under.

Ryu’s lead was at four shots midway through the final round, but it closed to two for a brief stretch on the back nine. Moments after Ryu fell to 17 under after missing the green on the par-3 11th en route to her lone bogey of the week, Yang gave the final round its first taste of suspense with a birdie on the 12th.

The birdie pushed Yang to 15 under, but she followed with bogeys on 13 and 14 — and Ryu quickly extended her lead back to five shots with a birdie of her own on the par-4 12th. She also had a long par-saving up-and-down out of the bunker on the par-4 13th.

Lewis began the day five shots back and in the final pairing with Ryu, but she struggled for much of the day before closing with an eagle on the par-5 18th.

Defending champion Lydia Ko set the previous tournament best of 17 under last year. The second-ranked New Zealander shot a 68 on Sunday to tie for 25th at 8 under.

By Paul Wager

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