Ryu Hae-ran finishes 5th at LPGA major as S. Korea drought reaches 9 events

April 22, 2024

South Korean sophomore Ryu Hae-ran has recorded her best finish at an LPGA major championship, though it wasn’t enough to end the country’s title drought on the top women’s tour.

Ryu finished alone in fifth at the Chevron Championship, the first major of the season, by shooting nine-under 279 at The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas, on Sunday (local time).

Ryu held a 54-hole lead in the weather-interrupted tournament, with the third round being completed Sunday morning, but couldn’t stay out in front as she carded four bogeys and two birdies in the final round.

Ryu started her final round with back-to-back bogeys, and another bogey on the fifth pushed her further out of contention.

Ryu bounced back with birdies on the eighth and the ninth, but gave back a shot with a bogey on the 14th.

It was still Ryu’s best showing at a major. Her previous best finish was a solo eighth at the U.S. Women’s Open last year.

Among other South Koreans, rookie Im Jin-hee finished eighth at six-under, and the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open champion Kim A-lim tied for ninth at five-under.

World No. 1 Nelly Korda won her LPGA record-tying fifth straight tournament with a two-shot victory at the Chevron for her second career major.

By shooting 13-under, with four straight rounds in the 60s, Korda joined Nancy Lopez (1978) and Annika Sorenstam (2004-05) as the only players to win five consecutive LPGA events.

South Korea has not produced an LPG winner nine events into this season. It’s the longest such drought to begin a season since 2014, when Park In-bee won the 14th tournament of the year, the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic.

In 2023, four South Korean players combined for five victories, including one by Ryu, who went on to capture the Rookie of the Year award.