Altvater: Rookie dominates at Jamie Farr Toledo ClassicWritten by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
Four South Korean women were tied for the lead at the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic heading into the final round on Sunday and Koreans held seven of the top 10 spots.
Jiyai Shin, I.K. Kim, So Yeon Ryu and Hee Kyung Seo were all tied at 11-under par. Inbee Park and Chella Choi were only one shot back of the leaders and Hee-Won Han was at eight-under par.
The leaders cited softer conditions due to overnight rains and slower greens as important factors in their scoring on Saturday. To a woman, they felt that the South Koreans are more consistent and that particular style of play is rewarded at the Highland Meadows Golf Club.
As Yogi Berra might say, it was over before it was over on Sunday.
LPGA rookie So Yeon Ryu began a string of birdies at No. 9 and didn’t finish until her putt dropped on No. 14. Six consecutive birdies gave her a six-shot lead over the rest of the field.
She added another for good measure at the par-5 18th for a nine under par 62 and an aggregate 20-under par for the four rounds.
This was her first official LPGA win although she did win the U.S. Women’s Open last year to earn her LPGA Tour Card for 2012.
This gives So Yeon Ryu eight top 10 finishes in her rookie season on the LPGA Tour. She is ranked No. 22 on the Rolex World Rankings and this win will move her inside the top-10 on the LPGA Money List.
More than 40 South Korean women were in the field at the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic. They are continuing a tradition started by Se Ri Pak, who won the Jamie Farr five times. Se Ri impressed on all of the young Korean ladies the amount of dedication and practice necessary to succeed on the LPGA.
The LPGA next moves to Portland, Ore., for the Safeway Classic.
For golf tips and video, visit www.toledoohiogolflessons.com. Follow on Twitter: @tolohgolfr.