(The Sports Xchange) - Ryu So-Yeon of South Korea shot a two-under-par 69 to win the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship on Sunday at Rogers, Arkansas.
Ryu, who carded a course-record 61 on Saturday to open a five-stroke lead, finished two shots ahead of countrywoman Amy Yang and Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn.
Ranked third in the world, Ryu is projected to supplant No. 1 Ariya Jutanugarn for the top spot when Monday’s rankings are released. Ariya did not compete in the event.
Ryu finished at a tournament-record 18-under 195 for her fifth career victory. She also won at the ANA Inspiration in April for her second major title.
The only misstep for Ryu in the final round was a bogey at No. 11, allowing the fast-closing Yang to get within two shots. However, Ryu birdied the next hole to double her lead and coasted to the victory.
Ryu admitted having such a sizable lead entering the day made her “nervous” but said a birdie on the par-three third hole calmed her down.
“To be honest, compared to the last two days, today wasn’t a really great game so I had to really keep myself to, ‘OK, don’t comparing to any other rounds, just keep focused’,” Ryu said. “Yesterday my (sports) psychologist said don’t try to be perfect, so I think that was really key word on the golf course today.”
Yang had eight birdies, an eagle and three bogeys in her round of 64 while Moriya closed with a 66, capping it with a birdie-eagle finish.
“I get a lot of confidence from this week and hopefully keep playing solid and finish in another good week,” said Moriya, who posted her fourth straight top-10 finish.
Michelle Wie matched Yang with a final-round 64 to finish in a tie for fourth place with American Stacy Lewis (69) at 13-under 200.
Editing by Andrew Both