It has been exactly one month between her last competitive round at the AIG Women’s Open on August 20th to the start of Walmart NW Arkansas Championship week and So Yeon Ryu took full advantage of the break. Her performance in the major championship marked the first missed cut for Ryu this season.
“I feel like these days are like a midlife crisis for me, just about golf. I was just really all over the place, so I really needed to take a really long break. A month off was really helpful for me,” said Ryu, who won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2017. “AIG [Women’s Open] was a disaster for me and my swing was quite far off. I was not able to feel any of it.
“I didn't touch my clubs for like two weeks, and then I started thinking about what I really want and why I should keep playing golf. The month off was a really great time to think about a lot of things and what I need to do to compete with the best in the world. I really had to admit that this was going a good time to learn something about what I need to do to be a better golfer.”
Don’t worry, Ryu does not plan to buy a car or indulge in another expensive purchase. The six-time LPGA Tour winner and two-time major champion has set other goals that provide plenty of motivation.
“I want to win the grand slam. For that I [still] need to win AIG [Women’s Open], [Amundi] Evian and the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, so that's my biggest goal,” Ryu said. “Then if I can do it, I want to play the  Olympics in Paris as well. For that I should win a lot of tournaments. If I'm able to win the grand slam, that most likely means I'm going to be close to making the Olympic team, so I pick those two as my goals.
“I still feel like I have that competitiveness in my heart and I just really love this game, so I really want to make everything great again. This is my 14th year as professional golfer, so I hope I can play great all the time, but this is golf. You have up and downs.”
Set to make her ninth start in Rogers, Ark., Ryu has never missed a cut in the event and had never finished outside the top 30 with four top-10 results that includes her past victory at Pinnacle Golf Club.
“The reason I love this tournament so much is because the community supports this tournament so much,” said Ryu. “I’m really, really happy to see the LPGA and this community growing together. Really looking forward to seeing a lot of fans out here this week. Golf course is always in great shape and then everything here helps me to enjoy this game even more.”