Back in the United States after nine months in the Republic of Korea, 2011 U.S. Women’s Open champion So Yeon Ryu is ready to play the third to last event of the 2020 season at Old American Golf Club.
“I'm glad to be back. I was in Korea for nine months and if I look back, it just felt like nine weeks. But I had a really great time with my family and friends. I feel like that nine months was kind of vacation for me. I've been a professional golfer for 13 years and I am ready to play the LPGA Tour again. It's so good to see all of my LPGA family out there,” said Ryu who landed in the U.S. last Monday.
The first thing she wanted to do, though?
“I really craved Chipotle, so I went to get the chicken bowl,” said Ryu. “Then, I went to see my coach, I went to see my trainer as well. Then, well, a lot of cleaning. I wasn't home for nine months -- a lot of dead bugs. I feel like for two days I just cleaned up everything. And then my vacuum didn't work, so I had to do everything just the old-fashioned way. That was a struggle. But I feel like I did some pretty good work before I came to play.”
The Korean player also had a rare opportunity to play professionally back home. Ryu competed in six KLPGA events and won the Korean Women’s Open, donating her entire winner’s check of $200,000 to coronavirus relief funds. Yet, the six-time LPGA champion said returning to the VOA Classic still posed a challenge.
“Even though I played a few of the tournaments in Korea, I feel like I haven't played at all. I thought it was going to be a totally new feeling, but as soon as I started practicing on Monday, as soon as I started to do some practice, everything was just same as what I used to do,” said Ryu. “I’ve never played this golf course before. I didn't play this tournament the last two years, so this is a very new course for me. You have to have really good ball-striking skill. It's going to be really windy, so I guess short game is really important, too. I actually haven't played with this type of grass for a long time, so right now I’m just practicing quite a lot of short game to get used to this type of grass. I hope I'm going to bring out my A game out and then I'm going to enjoy as much as I can.”