Monday, April 5

Yani Tseng Smiles Her Way to Second Major

2010 Kraft Nabisco Championship Recap
Winner: Yani Tseng
Score: 13 under, 275 (69, 71, 67, 68)
Quote: “Stay focused. That’s what I wanted to do, and keep smiling.”
Fact: Favorite club is 8-iron.
Thought: Has tool set to be a dominant player.

ALL PLAYERS LOOK GOOD when they’re winning a golf tournament, because they’re obviously playing well during that particular week. The golf ball is generally going where the players want it to, and a considerable number of putts are usually falling into the cup. That was certainly the case for Yani Tseng at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the year’s first major on the LPGA Tour. Tseng fired 135 on the weekend to nip Suzann Pettersen by a shot. It’s the third win and second major title for the 21-year-old Taiwanese player. In her rookie season she won the 2008 LPGA Championship in a playoff with Maria Hjorth.

Tseng, however, strikes many onlookers as more than a good player who can put together an occasional win. She has talent galore and a bag full of shots. With experience and the right mental approach, she could win a lot more LPGA tournaments and several majors before she’s through. Evidently, she recently had a lengthy chat with a Hall of Famer that was quite helpful.

“I really want to thank Annika Sorenstam,” Yani said Sunday after taking the winner’s traditional jump into the pond beside the 18th green, “because she came to my house and we sit down and talk about two hours, and she helped me a lot about my game, about the mentals, and she told me go step by step.”

With the major victory, Tseng moved up to second in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. Jiyai Shin dropped to third. Lorena Ochoa has held the top spot for 155 consecutive weeks, but with the likes of Tseng, Shin and others elevating their games, I wonder how long it will be before Ochoa is knocked off her pedestal.

−The Armchair Golfer


Vince Spence said...

Is she the "smiling assassin" of golf?

I know I'll get jumped on for this, but Yani demonstrates how humility and happiness are really communicated well to America when English is spoken.

Yani is funny, thoughtful and thankful. I'm sure 95% of Asian golfers also have those qualities. It's a shame not speaking English (or at least trying) is still a negative.

The Armchair Golfer said...

Thanks, Vince. I saw a clip or two of Yani and was impressed by her communication skills. I'm guessing she has been working diligently on her English.

Prestonpoet said...

Nice blog! Because of my time living in Taiwan I was aware of Yani's great talent many years ago. It was quite apparent way back, that she would be a major force in women's golf. I have spoken to her twice, the last being at Lytham St Annes, where she was playing the British Open last year. She has so much talent.