(Reuters) - Women’s world number one Ryu So-yeon is focused on her putting as she hopes to bookend her season by winning the final major of 2017 at the Evian Championship in France next month.
Ryu won the opening major at the ANA Inspiration in the California desert five months ago - an event best remembered for the four-stroke penalty imposed on Lexi Thompson after a TV viewer reported the American had incorrectly replaced her ball after marking it on a green during the third round.
Thompson subsequently lost a playoff to Ryu, who later rose to number one, a position she is getting used to after two months at the top.
Ryu has made progress on the greens since starting to work last year with former British Open champion Ian Baker-Finch, one of the great putters of his generation, but her form is still a day-to-day proposition.
She played her way into contention at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open last week, but could not close out the deal, eventually finishing equal 12th.
“I couldn’t (win) because putting was not great enough,” the 27-year-old South Korean said in a teleconference on Wednesday.
“Until Saturday, putting was just okay, it was like B. But the last round, my putting was not even C then. I just lost an opportunity.”
Fortunately for Rye, majors more often than not reward the best ball-strikers.
“I think the majors, it’s more important to not make a bogey instead of make a lot of birdies, because they set the golf course up to not (allow) too low scores,” she said.
Ryu is competing in the Cambia Portland Classic starting in Oregon on Thursday, and two weeks later will parachute in to Evian-les-Bains for the Evian Championship.
She will not literally parachute in but a skydiver will in what has become a popular tournament tradition, landing on the course carrying a flag of the winner’s nation.
“The Evian Championship always has a very special ceremony at the last hole, after you win and hopefully I’m going to see that at the 18th hole,” Ryu said.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Ed Osmond