Multiple Major Champion And Former World No.1 Announces Retirement Aged 33

So Yeon Ryu has announced her retirement after 17 years as a professional, where she won over 20 times including two Majors

So Yeon Ryu hits a drive
(Image credit: Getty Images)

So Yeon Ryu has announced she will be retiring from professional golf after next month's Chevron Championship.

The 33-year-old Korean revealed the decision on social media, which she described as "one of the most significant decisions" of her life.

Ryu turned professional as a teenager in 2007 after winning gold in the individual and team events at the 2006 Asian Games. She then went on to win more than 20 titles in the pro ranks including the 2011 US Women's Open and 2017 ANA Inspiration (now the Chevron Championship).

Both of her Major wins came via playoffs. She defeated compatriot Hee Kyung Seo at the 2011 US Open over three holes and then took down Lexi Thompson at the 2017 ANA Inspiration with a birdie on the 1st extra hole, after the American received a controversial four stroke penalty during the final round.

Ryu won six times on the LPGA Tour and ten times on the LPGA of Korea, and spent 19 weeks atop the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings between June and November 2017. She was also Rolex Player of the Year and won the Annika Major Award in 2017.

"I am so grateful that I could do what I loved to do, day in and day out, and even make a career out of it," she said. "I am not going to lie; I had some hard patches, but despite some of the challenges, I truly enjoyed it all."

So Yeon Ryu's retirement announcement:

"Hello everyone, Soyeon Ryu here.
I wanted to share one of the most significant decisions in my life with all of you today. Sadly, the Chevron Championship will be my last game on the LPGA tour.

After deciding to retire, I spent much time looking back on my career. So many memories came flooding back, and I felt so many emotions. But the more I thought about it, the more I was thankful for so many things. I am so grateful that I could do what I loved to do, day in and day out, and even make a career out of it. I am not going to lie; I had some hard patches, but despite some of the challenges, I truly enjoyed it all. And more than anything, I feel incredibly grateful for the love and support I've received from all of you throughout my career.

People often say, "Golf is life," and I couldn't agree more. I've learned so much through this game: patience, respect for others, endurance, and much more. Golf has taught me so many lessons. Now, I want to do something to make this sport even better. So, I hope you continue supporting me in the next chapter of my life.

I'm looking forward to giving a big hug to all of my friends on tour soon. I sincerely appreciate all of your love and support throughout the years. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I'll see you guys in Houston. ;)"

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV