The Yani Tseng World Domination Tour rolls into Malaysia

While Rickie Fowler was notching his first pro win and Bryce Molder was lifting his first PGA Tour trophy last week, Yani Tseng was rolling to her sixth LPGA victory, and ninth worldwide, of the year. Her accomplishments are all the more remarkable when you consider that the 22-year-old with five majors — two in 2011 alone — has strung together a season that even her mentor Annika Sorenstam would envy, despite an LPGA schedule that’s the thinnest in years.
Tseng, who has won four times since fellow golfers hailed 22-year-old U.S. Open champ Rory McIlroy as the next coming of Tiger Woods, has made it to the winner’s circle in a jaw-dropping five of her last 10 tourneys. The next stop on the Yani Tseng World Domination Tour is Malaysia, where the world’s No. 1 will take on a stout field of 72 players, including nine of the top 10 players in the world.
The secret to the success of the golf phenom from Taiwan? Unwavering concentration on the task at hand.
“I just try to focus on every shot, every hole, every tournament,” Tseng told reporters after Sunday’s one-shot triumph over 2010 defending champ Na Yeon Choi at the LPGA HanaBank Championship. “Last week I won but it’s already passed. Now I’m looking forward to this week and trying to focus on doing the best I can and do the best every week.”
Should her play fall short of her expectations, Tseng is not one to carry such disappointment from one event to another.
“If I don’t play well this week, there is always the next week when I can play well,” she said. “So the most important thing is that I do my best every shot and I’m enjoying it on the golf course and having lots of fun. I think that’s the reason I am playing so good this year.”
As for Tseng’s playing partners, all they can do is shake their heads and tip their visors to the hottest player on the planet.
“We never really want to go into a tournament feeling like we’re playing for second but Yani is having a fantastic year,” No. 3 Cristie Kerr said. “Any time she’s on the front page of the leaderboard she is going to be a very strong factor and she has a lot of confidence right now. Definitely don’t want to feel like that but she’s very hot at the moment and we are all trying to do our best job out there.”
Suzann Pettersen, a distant second to the golfer who’s owned the top spot in the world rankings for 35 straight weeks, agreed. “Yani has been a phenomenal No. 1 and she keeps pushing the limits every week,” she said. “Hats off, she is playing fantastic and it makes us work even harder.”
A quick glance at the numbers tells the story of Tseng’s season for the ages. She ranks first in seven categories, including wins, rounds under par, top-10 finishes, greens in regulation, scoring, and driving distance.
The youngest golfer ever to win five major championships is also tied for third in eagles and fourth in putts per green in regulation. Small wonder that she’s set to repeat as Player of the Year and take home the other year-end LPGA honors — lowest scoring average and leading money winner. She already swept to the only award she’s not eligible for this season — Rookie of the Year — in 2008.
Tseng will go for the seventh LPGA win of her dazzling season at this week’s Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia event at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club’s East Course. The Malaysian tourney is the second of three consecutive contests in Asia. A huge welcome awaits Tseng next week, when she will travel home to kick off the inaugural Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship.

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