Power, popularity, passion and precision. That’s the package So Yeon Ryu will bring to Adelaide in the new year.
Ryu, 27, who rose to the top of the world rankings in July with her second win of an outstanding LPGA Tour season, confirmed today that she will return to the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open in February.
The Korean with a super strong Australian connection has come agonisingly close to winning an event close to her heart before, having lost in the epic six-woman playoff in 2012. And she couldn’t be more happy than to renew her quest for the Patricia Bridges Bowl in South Australia.
“I last played in Adelaide as an amateur and I remember how great the courses were back then and the fun we had in the city,” Ryu said. “I have always thought Australian courses suit the way I play and I’ve heard a lot about Kooyonga from my Aussie team and I’m looking forward to coming back to play it in February.
“Somehow I’ve surrounded myself with Australians and the country is an integral part of my life and game. It doesn’t make sense that I haven’t been to the Open for a couple of years and I’m excited to be back.”
Dual Major champion Ryu, who will end the year ranked No.3 after a wild finale to the LPGA Tour season, has Aussies Cameron McCormick (coach), Tom Watson (caddie) and Adam Olarenshaw (physio) as key parts of her entourage.
She will join fellow Korean and defending champion Ha Na Jang in what’s already shaping as a superb field for the 2018 Women’s Australian Open at Kooyonga from February 15-18.
ISPS Handa executive director Midori Miyazaki said Ryu’s commitment typified the growing status of the tournament and its messages internationally.
“So Yeon is an incredibly popular player around the world and we are delighted that she’s signed on,” Miyazaki said. “It means a lot to the tournament and its reach to have the support of the world’s leading players as we harness the power of sport to create hope, inspire change and break down barriers.”
Tournament director Trevor Herden was delighted to have Ryu show her affinity for the city and tournament.
“So Yeon has had a fantastic season on the LPGA Tour, including winning her second Major championship, so it’s brilliant to have her commit to South Australian golf’s showpiece,” Herden said. “The tournament and crowds have a great connection with Korean players, they’ve consistently been a force in recent years and we’re sure So Yeon will be right in that conversation at Kooyonga.”