Ryu (61) injects herself into race for No. 1


Can So Yeon Ryu ride her record-setting round Saturday at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship to a second LPGA title this year and to the top of the Rolex Women’s World Rankings?

While Ryu has built a big lead at Pinnacle Country Club in her bid to win, the world rankings race is too close to call.

Ryu pulled away from the field Saturday with a tournament-record 10-under-par 61. She leads by five shots.

Ryu, who won the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration, is No. 3 in the Rolex world rankings, just .489 average ranking points behind No. 1 Ariya Jutanugarn, who isn’t playing this week. Ryu is within reach of No. 1 with a victory Sunday, but any unofficial projection remains uncertain. If Ryu wins, this much is certain, the battle for No. 1 will come down to fractions of a point in Monday’s release of the new rankings.

At 16-under 126, Ryu also has the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship’s 36-hole record.

Ryu closed out her round of 10 birdies and no bogeys Saturday with a pair of birdies.

“When I hit a really low score, one thing I learn is that I never look at the big picture,” Ryu said. “I only focus on my ball, only on one hole, instead of thinking of the whole thing. I think that's the main key, just do not think about your career low score or winning the tournament, just be the best. That's the best way to play well.”