Familiar competitors: Hee Kyung Seo and So Yeon Ryu were no strangers to seeing their names together at the top of a leaderboard. After Jiyai Shin left to play on the LPGA Tour, Seo and Ryu emerged as two of the top players on the KLPGA Tour and developed a competitive rivalry. It's a rivalry that continued over the final holes of the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open.
Hee Kyung Seo, who celebrated her 25th birthday on Friday, shot a final-round, 3-under 68 on Sunday to post the clubhouse lead at 3-under par for the tournament. After final-round play was suspended due to darkness on Sunday night, Ryu arrived at the golf course on Monday morning trailing Seo by one shot with three holes to play. She recorded a par on No. 16 and then had a birdie putt on No. 17 skirt the edge of the hole. Heading to No. 18 needing a birdie to tie Seo, Ryu hit her second shot to eight feet and rolled the putt into the middle of the hole to force the three-hole playoff.
Even though Seo wound up losing the playoff, she said it was still special having two Koreans face each other in a playoff for a major championship.
"Lots of Korean fans waiting for our winning this year, but it's like already July but we didn't won any of them," Seo said. "So like both me or So Yeon, I think they were cheer both of us. So, yeah, I feel very happy for South Korea player won this great, big tournament."