Tough task facing Tseng
When Yani Tseng upstaged the stars and won the LPGA Championship at Bulle Rock last year she was 25th in the World.
When 2008 Rookie of the year Yani Tseng upstaged the stars and won the $2 million McDonald’s LPGA Championship at Bulle Rock last year she was ranked 25th in the World.
This week when she takes on the defence of her first Major title at Bulle Rock again, she will be doing it as the World No 2 and with great memories of her thrilling victory there to drive up her confidence.
As exhilarating as it was, last year’s triumph didn’t come easily. She had to win a four-hole, sudden-death play-off against Sweden’s Maria Hjorth to secure the coveted title.
And it is not likely to come easily again this year.
The field includes all 10 of this year’s LPGA Tour winners and virtually everybody who is anybody in women’s golf – with one notable exception.
Annika Soresnstam, the most prolific winner of majors this century, has “stepped away from golf” to have a baby and won’t be there to stand in Tseng’s way.
But the new World No 1, Lorena Ochoa, the only multiple winner so far this season – at the Honda LPGA in Thailand and the Corona Championship in Mexico – certainly will be.
And you might say the same thing about the in-form World Nos 3 an 4, Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr, both of America.
Like Tseng, who won the Corning Classic in May and has had four runner-up finishes, Creamer and Kerr are also title winners who have regularly been strong contenders.
And of course there is always the chance of a seasoned campaigner like Korea’s greatest champion Se Ri Pak, a veteran at the tender age of 31 and the winner of this event in 1998 and 2006, charging home to victory this week on a wave of renewed confidence after her strong come back from the shadows of mediocrity last week when she finished second to her 20-year-old compatriot, In-Kyung Kim, at the LPGA State Farm Classic.
Mind you if the most recent winners of the four women’s Majors mean anything, Tseng’s greatest threats could be young guns like herself – and possibly from South Korea.
Tseng was 19 years and four months when she won at Bulle Rock, South Korean Inbee Park 19 years and 11 months when she claimed the 2008 US Women’s Open, fellow Korean Jiyai Shin 20 years and 3 months, when she secured the 2008 RICOH Women’s British Open and Brittany Lincicome was 23 when she triumphed in this year’s first Major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Wie? Yes she is aged right and has the potential, but will she ever get her head right and her game together like it used to be when she was 14?
She might feature. but there are at least a dozen other contenders who are more than likely to be fighting it out at the top of the leaderboard come Sunday.
Steve Stricker makes Padraig Harrington sweat as Irishman wins US Senior Open
The pair were rival captains in last year’s Ryder Cup in Wisconsin.
Golfers warned of further sanctions if they continue to play in LIV breakaway
The DP World Tour has issued fines of £100,000 and tournament bans to its members who played in the inaugural LIV Golf event earlier this month
DP World Tour hits members who played inaugural LIV series with £100,000 fines
They have also been banned from several forthcoming tournaments including the Scottish Open.
Rory McIlroy not impressed as Brooks Koepka becomes latest big name to join LIV
The world number two labelled the players who have joined the new series as “duplicitous” for the way they have handled their breakaway.
R&A confirms LIV Golf Series players will be allowed to compete at Open
The 150th Open Championship will get underway at St Andrews in three weeks’ time.
Matt Fitzpatrick turns to other major winners for advice on dealing with fame
Fitzpatrick won the US Open on Sunday.
Brooks Koepka set to join Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series
Koepka’s brother Chase played in the opening event at Centurion Club earlier this month.
Gary Player urges Matt Fitzpatrick to avoid ‘poison’ of modern-day coaching
Player tells US Open champion Fitzpatrick to learn from mistakes of recent major winners, saying: “The teaching today is the worst it has ever been.”
Matt Fitzpatrick’s caddie Billy Foster ready for ‘long party’ after US Open win
Foster won his first major after a 40-year career which includes spells working for the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke.
Matt Fitzpatrick backed to become a dominant force after winning first major
The Englishman claimed his first major title at Brookline.