LPGA MEDIHEAL CHAMPIONSHIP MEDIA NOTES: Fri, May 3
|1||So Yeon Ryu||-7||67-70—137|
|T2||Sei Young Kim||-6||72-66—138|
|T4||Five players tied||-5||139|
RYU MAINTAINS LEAD AT LPGA MEDIHEAL CHAMPIONSHIP
First-round co-leader So Yeon Ryu continued her steady play at Lake Merced Golf Club on Friday, carding a second-round 70 and carrying a one-stroke lead into the weekend of the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship. The former Rolex Rankings No. 1, who last held a 36-hole lead at the 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, called it a “grinding” day on the golf course.
“I only made one birdie and one bogey on the back nine. I actually didn’t really have any chance to make a birdie,” said Ryu, who had three birdies, including a chip-in at No. 12, and one bogey on Friday. “I guess just being really tougher to make a decision because it would feel like the wind was strong into it, then all of a sudden it stopped.”
American Ryann O’Toole shot a bogey-free 7-under 65 to set the tournament scoring record, a mark matched by sponsor invite He Yong Choi. After starting the round tied for 39th, O’Toole enters the weekend tied for second with Sei Young Kim, who returned a bogey-free 66. Choi is one of five players tied for fourth, along with her Korean countrywomen Na Yeon Choi, Eun-Hee Ji, and Inbee Park, as well as England’s Charley Hull.
First-round co-leaders Anne van Dam struggled on Friday, shooting 77 and falling into a tie for 31st. Defending champion Lydia Ko shot a 1-under 71 and is tied for 54th heading into the weekend.
O’TOOLE COMFORTABLE WITH LAKE MERCED CHALLENGE
As an LPGA rookie in 2011, American Ryann O’Toole (-6) had to play in a qualifier to get into the U.S. Women’s Open. That qualifier happened to be held at Lake Merced Golf Club, and she happened to win it. The 2011 U.S. Women’s Open proved to be a career-boosting tournament as she finished in solo ninth to secure her LPGA card and add a statement finish which helped her get onto the U.S. Solheim Cup team as a captain’s pick.
O’Toole picked up where she left off on Friday at Lake Merced, blazing her way to a bogey-free 65 to head into the weekend one shot back from 36-hole leader So Yeon Ryu.
“I like the way this course sets up,” O’Toole said after setting the 18-hole tournament record (along with sponsor invite He Yong Choi) on Friday at Lake Merced Golf Club. “I like more challenging golf courses, harder, like firmer, longer, faster. To me, it’s more of a shot making golf course. And I think it doesn’t put the pressure on, like oh, it’s a birdie fest. I don’t think that’s ever been really my style of golf. So, I think when you’re patient and you’re rewarded for pars, I feel like that eases me a bit more versus if you’re not making birdies on every hole, you feel like you’re behind.”
KIM ALMOST TO 100% AFTER EARLY BACK INJURY
The season did not start well for Sei Young Kim, who withdrew after 13 holes of the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore with a back injury. The culprit? A 2018 swing change. The seven-time LPGA Tour winner went back to her original swing feel heading into last week’s HUGEL-AIR PREMIA LA Open and those quickly paid dividends, as Kim finished second in Los Angeles with a final-round 66 and sits in second heading into the weekend here in San Francisco.
I have to decide which way is better, to stop or just rest, or change the swings,” said Kim, who claims that she’s not quite back to 100%. “So I changed the swing.”
Rolex Rankings No. 9 So Yeon Ryu (67-70)
- Ryu’s 137 is the lowest 36-hole of her 2019 LPGA Tour season; she previously shot 139 at the LOTTE Championship, where she finished T3
- She hit 11 of 14 fairways and 12 of 18 greens
- Ryu is in her eighth season on the LPGA Tour; she has six career victories, including major titles at the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open (as a non-Member) and the 2017 ANA Inspiration
- This is Ryu’s seventh event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she finished T9 at the LOTTE Championship and T19 at the HUGEL-AIR PREMIA LA Open
- At the inaugural LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship in 2018, she finished T18
- At the 2016 Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, a separate LPGA event held at Lake Merced Golf Club, Ryu finished solo fifth
- She was the 2012 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year
Rolex Rankings No. 61 Ryann O’Toole (73-65)
- O’Toole’s second-round 65 sets the tournament single-round scoring record, along with a 65 today from sponsor invite He Yong Choi
- Her 65 is the lowest round of her 2019 LPGA Tour season; she previously shot 68 three times, most recently in the first round of the LOTTE Championship
- Her 65 is also tied for the second-lowest round of her LPGA Tour career; she shot a 63 in the third round of the 2018 Evian Championship and has five other 65s, most recently in the final round of the 2018 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G
- She hit 11 of 14 fairways and 17 of 18 greens with seven birdies
- O’Toole is in her ninth season on the LPGA Tour; her best finish is third at the 2018 Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship presented by CTBC
- This is O’Toole’s ninth event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; her best finish is T36 at the Kia Classic
- At the inaugural LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship in 2018, she finished T11
- O’Toole played in the 2014-2016 Swinging Skirts LPGA Classics, a separate LPGA event held at Lake Merced Golf Club, finishing T59 (2014), T33 (2015) and T15 (2016)
- She represented the United States at the 2011 Solheim Cup, posting a 2-0-2 record
- She is a 2009 graduate of UCLA with a degree in Sociology
Rolex Rankings No. 15 Sei Young Kim (72-66)
- Kim’s second-round 66 is tied for the lowest round of her 2019 LPGA Tour season; she also shot a 66 in the final round of last week’s HUGEL-AIR PREMIA LA Open
- She hit 11 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens
- Kim is in her fifth season on the LPGA Tour; she has seven career victories, most recently at the 2018 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic, where she set the LPGA’s 72-hole scoring record at 31-under 257
- This is Kim’s eighth event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she finished second at last week’s HUGEL-AIR PREMIA LA Open
- At the inaugural LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship in 2018, she finished T37
- At the 2015 Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, a separate LPGA event held at Lake Merced Golf Club, Kim finished T9
- Kim represented the Republic of Korea at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, where she finished T25
- She was the 2015 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year
- Ryann O’Toole and sponsor invite He Yong Choi both recorded a 7-under par 65 to set the 18-hole tournament scoring record on Friday
- Only six players have recorded both rounds under par at the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship: So Yeon Ryu (67-70), Inbee Park (70-69), Charley Hull (69-70), In Gee Chun (69-71), Maria Torres (69-71) and Louise Ridderstrom (71-69)
- Defending champion Lydia Ko heads into the weekend T54 at +2
- Of the 15 players from this week’s field who also competed at the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior at Lake Merced, seven players made it through to the weekend (finish at the U.S. Girls’ Junior)
- Kristen Gillman (did not reach match play)
- Megan Khang (lost in the second round)
- Lydia Ko (lost in the semifinals to Alison Lee)
- Ariya Jutanugarn (stroke-play medalist; lost in the semifinals to Minjee Lee)
- Minjee Lee (defeated Alison Lee in the championship match)
- Yu Liu (lost in the third round to Alison Lee)
- Maria Torres (did not reach match play)
TOURNAMENT SCORING RECORDS
18 holes: 65 (-7) Ryann O’Toole, second round, 2019; He Yong Choi, second round, 2019
36 holes: 135 (-9), Jessica Korda, 2018
54 holes: 205 (-11), Lydia Ko, 2018
72 holes: 276 (-12), Lydia Ko, 2018; Minjee Lee, 2018
No. 15, par 5
TV TIMES (all times Eastern on Golf Channel)
Saturday, May 4 – 6-9 p.m.
Sunday, May 5 – 6-9 p.m.