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Major threat Ryu has the shots and the mindset

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Evian Championship officials should go ahead and post So Yeon Ryu’s name on their leaderboards right now.

Nobody gets in contention in major championships more consistently than Ryu these days.

Ryu, No. 3 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, is looking to win the third major championship of her career, her second in the last two seasons. She’s coming off a third-place finish at the Ricoh Women’s British Open last month and a playoff loss to Sung Hyun Park at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship the month before that.

In the last dozen majors, Ryu has finished T-4 or better six times.

Ryu, 28, won the Rolex Annika Major Award as the best overall performer in the majors last year, and she can win it again this year with a victory this week.

What makes her so formidable in majors?

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“I think it's more a mental thing,” she said. “I enjoy the tough golf course, more than the easy golf course. I enjoy more to try to make a par, instead of to try to make a birdie all the time.

“I always have a really excited mind to play major tournaments, because I know it's going to really be a challenge. I know it's going to be grinding all week, and that's the sort of feeling I really enjoy.”

Ryu was strong in the majors before she even joined the LPGA, winning the U.S. Women’s Open as a non-member in 2011, but she has become even more formidable since going to work with Cameron McCormick as her swing coach. McCormick has helped her work the ball better, with a larger repertoire of shots and trajectories.

Ryu’s game travels so well. She can win anywhere. She won the U.S. Women’s Open, where hitting fairways and greens is the formula. She won the ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills, a big hitter’s ballpark. She gave herself a chance on the links at Royal Lytham last week. She nearly won the Women’s PGA at Kemper Lakes and has two finishes of T-4 or better at Evian.

“Since I started to work with Cameron, I feel more comfortable to make a lot of different shapes of shots,” Ryu said. “I think that gave me more benefit, to fit into any type of golf course.”

Ryu says winning the career Grand Slam and making the LPGA Hall of Fame are her top goals. Winning at Evian would get her the third leg of the five-legged slam.