Ryu holds off Choi to win Canadian Women`s Open

South Korea`s Ryu So-Yeon held off compatriot Choi Na-Yeon on Sunday to capture the Canadian Women`s Open, snapping an LPGA win drought of more than two years.

Ninth-ranked Ryu, the 2011 US Women`s Open champion whose only other prior LPGA crown came at the 2012 Toledo Classic, matched the season-low LPGA 72-hole total of 23-under par, finishing on 265 to defeat Choi by two shots.

Ryu fired a final-round 69, three-under par, to collect a wire-to-wire triumph but only after Choi closed within one stroke with three holes to play. A final six-foot birdie putt at 16 produced Ryu`s final margin of victory.

"I did trust myself," Ryu said. "I didn`t care about anybody else. I focused on my game. I wasn`t playing my best game on the back nine but I just kept through it.

"Hole 16 was a really big hole. I was sure if I made (the birdie putt) I was going to win it. I was really happy I made it."

Ryu, 24, had 27 top-10 finishes since her prior victory, 10 of them last season and nine more this year.

Ryu, who will jump from ninth to fifth in the world rankings as a result of the victory, shattered the tournament record low score by five shots.

World number two Park In-Bee, the South Korean star who captured her fifth career major title at last week`s LPGA Championship, was third on 270 with spain`s Azahara Munoz fourth, another stroke adrift.

Park was the first to win at 23-under this season, taking the title at Waterloo, Canada.

All three of Ryu`s victories have come when she led or shared the lead after 54 holes.

Choi sank a 15-foot birdie putt at 15 and Ryu missed a six-foot par putt seconds later on the way to a bogey that trimmed her lead over Choi to one stroke with three holes to play.

Choi missed a 10-foot birdie putt at the par-5 16th and Ryu followed moments later by sinking a six-foot birdie putt to reclaim a two-shot lead, pumping her right fist with joy at the achievement.

Both made pars on 17 and reached the 18th green with the tile still in doubt. Ryu`s shot barely held the green but her first putt finished six inches from the cup and she tapped in to secure the triumph.

Ryu had opened with back-to-back birdies at the third and fourth holes, birdied the par-5 seventh and closed the front nine with a birdie to reach 24-under.

But Ryu stumbled back with a bogey at 10 while Choi, who birdied both par-5s on the front nine, charged with birdies at 11 and 13 to set up the late drama.

New Zealand teen star Lydia Ko, the 2012 and 2013 Canadian Women`s Open winner as an amateur, opened with a triple bogey and made four bogeys in a row starting at the third hole on her way to a 76 Sunday to finish in a share 55th on 287.

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