SYLVANIA, Ohio (AP) – A birdie binge drove So Yeon Ryu to victory in the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic.
Ryu rode a string of six straight birdies in the middle of her round to a 9-under 62 and a seven-stroke victory Sunday at Highland Meadows.
The 22-year-old began the day in the midst of a four-player logjam – all South Koreans – for first place. She took the lead by herself for the first time with an 8-foot birdie putt at the third hole and gradually stretched her advantage until pulling away with birdies on Nos. 9-14.
Angela Stanford made a long birdie putt on the final hole for 66 to finish second.
Ryu ended up at 20-under 264 thanks to the lowest final round by a Farr winner – by three strokes.
South Koreans Inbee Park and Chella Choi each shot 69 and shared third place at 12 under.
Ryu grabbed the lead on the third hole. From out of the light left rough, she hit her approach 8 feet over the flag and made the birdie putt to get to 12 under and break free of the pack.
She added a 12-footer for birdie at the par-4 fifth.
The lead could have grown even faster. Ryu had birdie putts of 8, 6 and 10 feet at Nos. 4, 6 and 7, but missed them all.
Then, after I.K. Kim, who shot a 71 and ended up tied for fifth with Jennie Lee (67) at 11 under, had narrowed her lead to a shot, Ryu rolled in a 30-footer from the front of the green at the ninth hole.
Finally finding the range with a putter she just recently started using, she stretched her streak to six in a row with five birdies to open the back nine and the rout was on.
She birdied the last hole to cap her round.
Ryu had picked up the game in the second grade as part of her school's extracurricular activities. She's also a gifted pianist.
Her only previous win came in a major – the 2011 U.S. Women's Open. She beat fellow countrywoman Hee Kyung Seo – her playing partner Sunday – there in a three-hole playoff.
This season, Ryu has eight top 10s including a tie for second in Australia. She came in 12th on the money list with $544,000.
Stanford, who started the day three shots back in a tie for eighth, pulled even with Kim at 12 under with birdies at 12 and 14 before closing with the lengthy putt.
Second-round leader Choi briefly grabbed a piece of the lead with a birdie on the par-3 second hole, but had a bogey two holes later. She recovered with back-to-back birdies on the second nine.
The victory was worth $195,000 to Ryu.
Local favorite and LPGA Tour money leader Stacy Lewis, born in Toledo, shot a 66 to tie for 11th at 8 under.