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July 1, 2018

So Yeon Ryu

Kildeer, Illinois

THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, we are here with So Yeon Ryu, who has had a fabulous week here at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. Came up just short in a playoff. Came in and gave her a hug, and she says she's doing not that bad. At least you have a smile on your face. So Yeon, we'll start with the first playoff hole; what that was like for you with that amazing birdie putt?

SO YEON RYU: Yeah, like to be honest, my second shot was a little mis-hit. I thinned it a little bit. I was actually really worried about the water hazard, as well, but luckily I was able to reach to the green, and then I got like a 15-foot birdie putt just outside of the green. I think I was in my zone. I knew where the line was, and then I just trusted myself, and I just made it, and for sure that was really a great putt.

And then like the second hole, I thought I made my birdie putt, as well. I actually putted from a pretty similar position in my regular final round, and ball was turning a little to the right when I made that putt at 16, but that one didn't turn to the right. But I did my best, and then obviously like I said at the press conference a few days ago, like as long as I did my best, it's like, I'm just going to walk away.

THE MODERATOR: Tell us the story of your day. You'd had three rounds in the 60s coming in, putter perhaps a little faulty today but also the water shot there late. Tell us about maybe just the story of your round today.

SO YEON RYU: Yeah, definitely making double bogey at the second hole wasn't a really great start, but -- well, when I missed that par putt it wasn't really a bad putt, but the ball just turned quite hard, and I ended up with a three-foot bogey putt, and I think I just couldn't trust myself. That was the reason why I missed it, and then after that just kept talking to myself, like, you're one of the best putters in the world, and I think that really helped. I was able to birdie two in a row after that, and then also like I'd been hitting my ball really great. I think this performance is one of my best performances I've ever had in my professional career, so there was no doubt like when I decided to have -- when I decided to hit the shot, I just never looked back, and then most of the shots was really great.

And then maybe the biggest regret is 17. I was over the ball and I felt like the wind was a little bit more into, so I was going to have like one club longer, and then I was like, I just want to stick to my plan A, and then I hit it, I don't think it was a really bad shot, but just maybe ball drew more than I expected, then there was a really strong right-to-left wind and then wind just took it really hard to the left, and then it's in the water hazard. But once again, I did my best. If I look back, nothing I can do any better than that. I just did 100 percent effort every shot, every putt, and still, you know, I like looking at the positive side. This is my best finish for this tournament, so hopefully it's going to keep improving, and one day I want to lift that trophy.

Q. What was the number on 17, and what clubs were you between?
SO YEON RYU: I think to the pin was 169, and then I wanted to land it about like 158-ish because the ball -- where the pin was, it was kind of deep inside, so I knew the ball was going to kick hard left. So I hit it like -- it's about 158 shot with a 7-iron. Then I was thinking, maybe I can hit a little bit more than 160 and cut the 6-iron just holding up to the wind. But once again, I just wanted to stick to my plan A, and I just really wanted to trust my decision. But I ended up -- I don't think the number was bad but just drew it a little bit too much.

Q. What did you do to get back focused after that double bogey on No. 2?
SO YEON RYU: I had to let it go. If I keep looking back, I think that's really bad thing to do, especially when you are in contention. The past is nothing I can control. But for present and future, it's something I can control. So I just wanted to focus on what I can do instead of what I cannot do.

And then I think that attitude made me to have some great shots after that second hole, and then, well, I know it was really bad score at the second, but even at the second hole I did my best. I just did everything what I could do. Just no regret.

Q. I wondered if you could, first of all, assess the shot that Sung Hyun hit from the hazard on 16 and what was going through your mind and obviously you made a great putt after that, but take me through that hole from your perspective.
SO YEON RYU: I actually didn't see her second shot. I didn't know where her ball was. I was kind of surprised to see like she actually hit it to the pin. I thought she was going to maybe lay up because even though I didn't know where was it, but I couldn't see the ball, so I thought maybe it was a really tough one, but that was really brave.

And then when she hit it, I believe that was inside the water hazard, like she just discussed with her caddie a lot. I thought something is going on. But after she hit the final shot, I was like, okay, she got that shot, and I will show my shot, and then I made that birdie.

So those kind of things I just am really proud of myself. Even though I lost in the playoff, if I went through all the 18 holes, like I definitely did something really great.

The one thing I'm really proud of myself was like I was just fully focused on my game. I never really comparison myself to Sung Hyun or Brooke or Nasa. I saw Nasa shot like 8-under when I struggled to find a birdie instead of shot like 8-under. I'm like, okay, I've got to do something better.

But once again, I just did my best.

Q. You and Sung Hyun it such different styles, especially on the golf course and how you show your emotion, et cetera. What's it like going head-to-head against her and basically spending the day alongside her? She looks intimidating, but does she feel that way to a fellow player?
SO YEON RYU: Well, like you said, Sung Hyun and I are very different, just different characters. I guess she's very shy, and I know because she's not really comfortable with the language in the U.S., and because of that she's not really speaking much on the golf course. But at the same time, even speaking in Korean, she's like not really talk much. I never really had a chance to get to know her, but on the golf course I know she always want to play her "A" game all the time, and she was definitely desperate to win the tournament.

At the same time, so did I. So we both did our best, and ended up she won this tournament, but hopefully I can have something for the future.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the conditions on your second shot on the 16th hole, the final hole? Was the weather starting to become a factor then, and did you know play would be suspended right after you hit?
SO YEON RYU: Well, to be honest, when I hit the second shot I was in my zone, so I didn't care about how dark it is, what the temperature is. Like I didn't really care about anything. Right after I hit the shot, I was walking up to the green, and then I knew the sky was a little darker, so I just talked with my caddie, and I said, oh, the sky looks pretty dark, so I think the rain is going to come soon. Hopefully we can finish soon. And as soon as I said that, rules official came to me, and he's like, play is suspended. I'm like, okay. But that was about it.

Q. What impresses you about Sung Hyun the most?
SO YEON RYU: She's long, so she's definitely aggressive player. Like some of the decisions she made out there was something I can't do right now. I thought that was very brave, even 18. I think she aimed quite far left and she ended up in a really great position. I guess she was a bit struggle with her game this season, as well, but I think maybe she learned a lot after that, and then she was able to win a major. She's a great player.

Q. What's your impression of this golf course, and then the conditions this week with all the heat? And did you talk with the other players about that, too, just a general view of Kemper Lakes?
SO YEON RYU: Well, yeah, like all the players love this golf course, and then actually I knew I was going to love this tournament, and I was going to love this golf course, but after I played 72 holes, I even like it more than I thought. It depends on wind direction. Golf course plays really, really different, and then depends on pin position. But hole could be handicap 18 to like handicap 1. It's so much fun. Also depends on the teeing ground. It's so much different golf you can play. It was total excitement, and I really appreciate the PGA of America to give us a really good opportunity to play a really great golf course. I look forward to playing the rest of my career the KPMG Women's PGA Championship.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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