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Korean Ryu wins US Women’s Open

So Yeon Ryu defeated her fellow South Korean Hee Kyung Seo in a three-hole playoff to clinch the weather-delayed U.S. Women’s Open in Colorado Springs on Monday.

The Broadmoor’s East Course had been had been inundated with rain, thunder and lightning over the previous four days and in total there were five suspensions of play over the 72 holes of the 2011 U.S. Women's Open.

Monday brought the first ever all-international playoff in a U.S. Women's Open. An all-Korean affair, it was appropriate that former winners and countrymen, Se Ri Pak and Ji Eun-hee were in attendance to cheer them on.

By the time the skies had cleared it was the 21-year-old Ryu being doused in champagne, securing her first major championship win after finishing the additional holes on two-under-par, three shots better than 25-year-old Seo.

"Unbelievable," a beaming Ryu said, having become the third youngest U.S. Women's Open champion. "I have won six KLPGA (Korean LPGA) tournaments but no majors and now I have won the U.S. Women's Open. I can't believe it."

Ryu became the fifth Korean to win the U.S. Women's Open after her role model Pak (1998), Birdie Kim (2005), Park In-bee (2008) and Ji (2009).

Even though Seo wound up losing the playoff, she said it was still special having two Koreans face each other in a playoff for a major championship.

"Lots of Korean fans were waiting for us to win this year, but it's already July but we hadn’t won," Seo said. "I think they were cheering both of us today. I feel very happy that a South Korean player won this great, big tournament."

With her win, Ryu takes home $585,000 of the $3.25 million purse.

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