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It’s the end of an era for a two-time major champion this week.

The game will bid farewell to a former world number one, who lifted 21 professional titles in a career spanning just 17 years.

Seldom do golfers retire as young as 33-years-old, but factors like injury and starting your own ranch take over. See Bobby Jones and Byron Nelson, respectively.

Meanwhile, LPGA Tour stars Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa parted with the professional game to start a family.

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But this week’s Chevron Championship will be So Yeon Ryu’s final professional tournament, after the South Korean announced her shock retirement last month.

Taking to Instagram, she wrote: “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.”

The first major of the women’s season will be Ryu’s last, seven years after winning the tournament.

“I was just so tired of traveling and then I feel so grounded at home,” she said.

“And then I started think about like when is the happiest moment in my life. Literally right after I wake up from my own bed and go to the kitchen to make coffee, that’s my happiest moment.

“To be honest, the hotel room is not easy to do.

“Second one, people might think this is really funny, but I was never good with the competition. I don’t think I [was] born with the competitiveness. You know, like some players just naturally really enjoy the competition.

“Of course, when I’m in contention and I have to compete I did my best, and then of course maybe people were able to see the laser in my eyes to make the putt or something.

“But every time after I compete, I was so exhausted and then I started to feel like competing is just not my thing.

“I guess because I loved golf so much, I was able to tough it out. I remember feel like I have no energy to compete with anybody.”

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Ryu also won the U.S. Women’s Open in 2011 and finished inside the top three at the Women’s PGA Championship, Women’s Open Championship and Evian Championship.

The illustrious career got underway when she turned pro in 2007 at the age of 17, and peaked in 2017 when reaching the top of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.

Despite retiring, though, Ryu has plans to extend her impact on the game.

“I have a couple things in my mind,” she said. “I’m really interested in golf course architecture, so if I have a chance to design the golf course it will be really amazing.

“Second one is I want to do something to elevate the game. I don’t know how, but some of the retirement golfer has already been doing amazing job, so I would like to talk to Michelle Wie, Karrie Webb, how are they doing it.

“I can see they [are] definitely helping a lot of junior golfers out. I want to be the person that makes something better for this sport.”

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John Turnbull A graduate of the University of Stirling, John joined the bunkered team in 2023 as a Content Producer, with a responsibility for covering all breaking news, tour news, grassroots content and much more besides. A keen golfer, he plays the majority of his golf at Falkirk Golf Club. Top of his 'bucket list' is a round of Pebble Beach... ideally in the company of Gareth Bale.

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