Boeljon Outduels Ryu for Australian Ladies Masters Title
In the fickle world of tournament golf, it’s all about what have you done for me lately. Christel Boeljon who hovered behind the lead for the majority of the Australian Ladies Masters wound up on top after birding the 72nd hole to avoid a playoff with U.S. Open Champion So Yeon Ryu, Diana Luna, and Ha-Neul Kim. Ryu, the 54 hole leader couldn’t find any of the form that saw her shoot an 11-under 61 in the second round.
When the tournament opened all eyes were on last week’s champion Lydia Ko, the 14 year old amateur from New Zealand. After the opening round Bo-Mee Lee lead by 1, but lurking behind were the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open playoff participants So Yeon Ryu and Hee Kyung Seo. Even in my post after the opening round I barely mentioned Boeljon, who shared the 2nd place spot with the two Koreans.
When Ryu shot a 61 on Friday to vault atop the leaderboard, the only question was would she have the post-awesome-round slump, or would someone be able to come close to such form on Saturday. Frances Bondad did with a 63 all her own, but Ryu still lead and looked to ride her great form into victory on Sunday.
It wasn’t to be.
Boeljon’s 4-undr 68 was enough to out duel the field, and she had the awesome opportunity to have a birdie putt on the 72nd hole to take the crown. For Ryu, it has to be another disappointment in a career that could be a lot better. I remarked earlier about her near misses in the KLPGA’s season ending awards, and the U.S. Open was only one of two worldwide victories she’s had in the past 2 years. This tournament can be added to her growing list of near misses. Strange sight for a player who burst on the international scene with some of the clutchest shots ever during the end of the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open.
Boeljon who finished #6 on the LET Order of Merit in 2011 starts off her 2012 season in fine fashion. She might not have been a headline coming into Sunday, but she grabbed the only one that really mattered.