Golf: South Korean star Ryu So-yeon hopes realignment of goals will help her rediscover best form

   The South Korean former world No. 1 is well known for her consistency but last season "it actually gave me a lot of pressure".
The South Korean former world No. 1 is well known for her consistency but last season "it actually gave me a lot of pressure".PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/1SOYEONRYU

SINGAPORE - Ryu So-yeon is 28 years old, wears an easy smile, is the fourth-best female golfer on the planet and, like everyone else on the LPGA Tour, has only one ambition: to get better.

As the season gets into gear, Ryu is trying to work on various aspects of her game and one of them is to simply enjoy the game a little more.

The South Korean former world No. 1 is well known for her consistency but last season "it actually gave me a lot of pressure".

People, she said, expected her to finish in the top 10 all the time and it was stressful.

The result, she added, was that even if she finished "tied for 11th or 12th, I just give myself a really, really hard time".

But now, Ryu said, she is trying to alter her outlook.

"I'm really trying to focus on my performance instead of the result and that (helps me) enjoy the game a little more.

 
 
 
 

"I think that's one of the biggest (things) I've learnt last year, so hopefully, I can have this positive mind all the way through my career."

The HSBC Women's World Championship this week is only her second event of the year after last week's LPGA Thailand as she embarks on a less hectic season.

Ryu played 23 events last season but the result, she admitted, was that she felt "sort of burnt out".

It is hard for a player to have fun when they are tired and Ryu thought, "maybe I'm going to cut down a little bit of tournaments, so I'm going to play a little less".

She took a long break and it energised her.

"I could not wait to just get back on the road and I could not wait to compete, and then I realised, you know, I love it. I really love this game."

While the South Korean said her short game has been upgraded, her entire game was still not perfectly tuned. Part of the reason was her winter training in Dallas.

"I always try to feel every single muscle when I'm swinging. I really love to focus on how my muscles are moving... but I couldn't really feel it because it was so cold. So I think because of that, my timing is a little off," she said.

After the warm climate in Thailand, the two-time Major champion is looking forward to a more productive tournament this weekend.

"I'm still going to do my best and, hopefully, my game is going to be better and better and, by Sunday, I'm good enough to hold the trophy."