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Interview with the US Open champion So Yeon Ryu
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Welcome back, and what a fantastic win for you last year at the US Open.

Yes thank you that was a huge win for me, because part of my plan to try and qualify for school in 2011 but now I’m straight into the LPGA so I’m really happy.

So you are going to play in the LPGA this year?

Yes, yes it is my first time. So I’m a little bit nervous and really excited.

And Katherine is going to be your big sister?

Yes I played with Katherine last year and she was really great person and she decide now to be my big sister in the LPGA so maybe she can help me with a number of things.

There is a rule on the Korean Golf circuit that you have to stay in Korea and play a number of years  have you done this?

My main tour is the LPGA Tour and then if I can play the KLPG Tour then I will three times and then my main sponsor has a tournament in the KLPGA so maybe I should be playing there.

So you still have to spend some time there?

Yes, yes.

So this year after you won the US Open, I think the only other LPGA event you played was Evian, so was there any reason for that did you want to play anymore events?

Well because I’m still a University student, and last year was my last year as a junior student. So I wanted to finish my junior year and then play LPGA tournament and if I played last year, I wasn’t prepared enough and maybe I couldn’t play well enough. So I would much rather prepare more perfectly for the LPGA tour.

What are you studying at University?

 Physical Education.

Do you still play the violin?

Ah no, I just play the piano now. Because my younger sister is a violinist so she don’t like if I play the violin.

But you did play?

Yes I can play.

And you use to want to be a violinist?

Ah, yes.

What changed your mind?

First time I really loved the violin, but I find when I play the golf I am really, really happy, and maybe I love the nature, tree the bird and green coloured grass. So maybe I just love golf so I changed my future.

When did you arrive in Australia?

Last week I was here.

With the weather how did you get practice on the mats?

I just practiced the full swing at the Victorian Park. So we just practiced long game and fixed up the long swing, because sometimes I use too much hand and I really want to focus on using my core. And just putting in my house.

And where is your house?

It’s not my house, my friend’s house. Staying near Oxenford, so twenty minutes.

Dean Herden was on bag for you in the Women’s Open for you last year. How did that come about?

Dean is my really great friend, because in 2008 he worked with Shin Jiyai In Korea. So he has a really good close relationship. And he gives me a lot of advice. And now he works in Japan. Last year I decided to play the US Open and I called my team to get a caddy he said he could help me.

And he is not with you this week. He is working where?

He is still staying in Japan and then he organise the winter training for a Japanese playing, and then playing training with Steve and Dean and he introduced me with Tom Watson.

So what about this week, this is a golf course you have a lot of success with, and play well. What is it about Royal Pines?

I’ve played this tournament three years, this is my fourth time. I really like this golf course. Because I feel really comfortable, but now with huge raining and the course conditions is really wet. This is my first tournament in 2012 and I have prepared on a lot of things, so hopefully I can play well in this tournament. I just met Tom Watson yesterday and he is a good caddy so maybe he can help me with a lot of things. I’m really looking forward to this tournament.

Where is Tom from?

He is Australian. Caddied a few winners on the Open.

When you got back to Korea after the US Open how was the reception?

Ah, when I finished the Open, I went to L.A. for one week, and finished Masters and then come back to Korea. And a lot of people were surprised because I’m just a KLPG player but I won major tournament and I won in KLPG several times but no majors LPGA so everyone was really surprised. And everyone has high expectations for me, so it’s a little bit tough for me. Because if I get in top ten everyone say that is not good enough I should be winning the tournament. So it’s really tough for me. In Korea, golf is really famous sport, and a lot of friends cheer for me and everyone supporting me, so I can prepare for 2012.

So do you think you are learning how to handle the expectation that is placed on you?
Well I just really love golf, so I just want to enjoy golf and play the golf. But just a really high expectation on me. But my goal is just a goal for me, and not care about the high expectation. I just practice hard and enjoy the golf and hanging out with my friends and family, and just enjoy my life.

You have mentioned you do about ten subjects at university, and that was the junior side, is that going to change at the LPGA level and travel?

I want to still go in the study direction because if I ever retire as a player, I still want to study about sport mechanics. So I think it’s really tough to continue university study, but if I don’t have a tournament on the LPGA I will go back to Korea and go back to school and now with cyber community really great maybe I could study on there.

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