Coronavirus: Ryu So-yeon wins on golf return and donates $290,000 Korean Open purse to charity

Ryu So-yeon started the final day in the lead and went round in a par 72 to finish on 12-under 276.
Ryu So-yeon started the final day in the lead and went round in a par 72 to finish on 12-under 276.PHOTO: 1SOYEONRYU/INSTAGRAM

PARIS (AFP) - Former women's world No. 1 Ryu So-yeon hung on for a one-shot victory on the Korean Tour on Sunday (June 21) and then donated her entire purse to coronavirus charities.

Ryu shot a par 72 in the final round of the Korean Open to hold off Kim Hyo-joo by one stroke, then announced she was giving away her 250 million won (S$290,000) winnings.

"I thought of donating since last night," Ryu said, according to local media.

"Before the awards ceremony, I called my mom. I told her that I'm going to make the announcement so don't get too surprised. She was just as happy I was.

"Since this tournament has a lot of meaning to me and I thought that I may be able to play better if I had a positive goal, I came up with it last night."

She had not played since February 16 when she finished tied for 34th in the Australian Open, the last event before the North American LPGA Tour was shut down by the coronavirus pandemic.

"All the competitions KLPGA golfers are currently playing are like a bonus for us," the Korean LPGA quoted her as saying in an Instagram quote.

"We only have to come and hit the ball, but a lot of people are continuing to struggle. This donation is going towards funding Covid-19 recovery."

Ryu, a former US Open winner, started the final day in the lead and went round in a par 72 to finish on 12-under 276, to win the South Korean national title.