On the strength of her maiden LPGA victory earlier this month, South Korean Ryu Hae-ran has all but secured the tour’s Rookie of the Year award. Ryu can now afford to stop worrying about the points race and turn her focus to other things: namely, giving her acceptance speech in English.Ryu leads Grace Kim of Australia by 244 points, 804 to 560. With four tournaments left after this week’s BMW Ladies Championship in South Korea, Ryu should be able to hang on for the rookie prize.
First-year players earn points based on their finishes, with a victory being worth 150. A win by Kim could make things interesting, but Kim has missed five cuts and recorded just one top-10 finish in 15 tournaments since her breakthrough win in April.”I understand I have a fairly big lead,” Ryu said after shooting a seven-under 65 on Thursday to begin the BMW Ladies Championship in Paju, northwest of Seoul. “Honestly, my biggest worry is giving the speech in English. So I’ve been working on it really hard.”Ryu earned her LPGA membership by winning the qualifying tournament last year. The former Korean tour star has so far recorded six top-10s, the biggest one being her victory at 스포츠토토존 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship on Oct. 1.