July 7, 2021
Toledo, Ohio, USA
CHRISTINA LANCE: Here with So Yeon Ryu, who is our 2014 Marathon LPGA Classic champion.
SO YEON RYU: '12.
CHRISTINA LANCE: 2012. I read it wrong. You're like '14, I didn't win in '14. You finished second in '14.
SO YEON RYU: I wish I won in 2014 as well. (Laughing.)
CHRISTINA LANCE: Sorry about that. It's early and it's hot. 2012. It's always good to have you back here in Toledo. How are you feeling to be back in much more of a normal year? I know you didn't play last year because of the pandemic, so welcome back.
SO YEON RYU: It was really nice to see my little sister won this tournament last year even though I missed it. I was in Korea. Definitely happy to be back.
I think this tournament is definitely something special, because even though I won -- I mean, my first one was U.S. Women's Open as like official LPGA member. This was my first win as LPGA member, so this place always just make me refreshing the memory of my rookie year and then just all sort of memories here.
So I hope I can get some positive energy from here.
CHRISTINA LANCE: What do you remember from the win in 2012, your first time, Rolex first-time win? How have you and your life changed since that time?
SO YEON RYU: Well, I actually quite often that like if I was member of the LPGA maybe there was tougher to win the U.S. Women's Open, because that win, I didn't really expect it, and I never really like wished, I hope I'm going to win this tournament.
Since I joined the LPGA Tour I really wanted to win every tournament, and this was my first time I won the tournament as LPGA member, so I definitely felt like it was dreams come true.
And then I think I when you're wishing to win some tournament I think you're playing with the more pressure, and then I was so happy that I was able to go through that tough time to grab the trophy.
CHRISTINA LANCE: This time last year the world was so different. You were home in Korea staying safe. We were running around here with masks on. How refreshing it is to be back? We have a build around 18. Last year there was nothing on property. How refreshing it is to be back and see fans and feel like we are somewhat getting back to normal?
SO YEON RYU: I think the big different is having fan. I think we started to have fan since U.S. Women's Open a little bit, and then it was definitely different feeling.
I think I just got used to play without fan, but as soon as I got fan back I was like, Okay, this is what I miss. I knew I missed it, but I definitely could see I missed it.
It was so nice to have all the support, and then especially the local Toledo people so nice to supporting us. They're always the amazing fans so looking forward to playing some good golf in front of the local fans.
CHRISTINA LANCE: How does the golf course look? We heard it is in good shape. It's hot, humid, some weather coming, but how does the course look as we get ready for the tournament?
SO YEON RYU: I think one of the most important thing to play well this golf course is tee shot, and then they added some of the bunker, so I think that just made us bit more tougher to hit a good tee shot.
But I think, like you said, golf course is in good shape. I think greens not really super fast yet, but I think always by the time when we start the tournament it always gets quicker.
So I think we going to have some fun out there.
CHRISTINA LANCE: Questions.
Q. I know you returned to the LPGA in December last year, but this tournament does mark the return, as Christina mentioned, coming back from the pandemic in 2020. It's been almost a year of playing in the COVID protocols. Can you reflect on what it's been like playing during the COVID era?
SO YEON RYU: First of all, like I need to study about what's a protocol. That was a lot of sort of different things. And then really depends on where you go, like we also have a little different type of protocol. And then we used to do COVID test every single week and then a lot of thing was just different.
Sometimes I just missed check-in for the tournament. We just needed to a lot of thing through online. We need to book the tee time. So everything is really different.
So when I first came to the U.S. last year in December felt like I just became a rookie all of a sudden. Now I got used to it and I feel like we are getting better and better, and I know like we're doing our best to go through this pandemic period of time.
I hope everything going to go back to normal pretty soon.
Q. How tricky has it been being isolated over the pandemic?
SO YEON RYU: It was tough. But at the same time, I feel like I was able to have more down time in my hotel room, more time to read the book, watching Netflix, and having some fun with my friends at the room. Then I think we just started a new routine.
I'm not going to lie, it wasn't easy, but at the same time, we just found a way to sort it out.
Q. What was the hardest part?
SO YEON RYU: I think having delivery food is the toughest thing. (Laughter.)
CHRISTINA LANCE: What did you read or catch up on that stuck out to you?
SO YEON RYU: Well, I think -- well, I don't know what to call in English, but I think I used to read a lot of book on how to develop yourself.
But I feel like all the book just became like giving me the similar message, so I just tried to read more novel, and then I think that one just made me more easy to read the book.
CHRISTINA LANCE: I'll wrap up with how do you feel your game is now as we head into this event and as we get into a busy stretch, next week playing the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational with Inbee and heading overseas for several weeks?
SO YEON RYU: To be honest, I think since I played the U.S. Women's Open the driving range was really windy, and then I feel like my swing sequence was little off. Then I'm still try to find a sequence. I think the best way to find a sequence is I just really need to play and then just learn something on the golf course instead of just like pounding a golf ball if the range. So that's what I'm looking for.
And then I won the tournament here before, so hopefully that will give me more confidence to find my swing feel back.
And like you said, I'm going to play Dow Invitational next week with Inbee and then teaming up is always little different. And then Inbee and I have been playing tournament as a team quite a lot, so we feel pretty confident to play together as an team. So I'm really looking forward to it.
And then, yeah, we going to go to Evian and then Olympic. Even though I'm not going to be part of Olympic, I think I'm going to so thrilled to see all of my LPGA players on TV, and then seeing them to represent their own country is really cool thing.
So I think a lot of fun things coming up, and hopefully I can start with a good week here.
CHRISTINA LANCE: Awesome, and we hope so, too. Thanks for joining us so much, So Yeon.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports