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Yu Liu Explains Her Affinity For Numbers On The Course

LPGA Tour star Yu Liu completely relies on her yardage book numbers, frequently referencing them on the course to assess shot strategy. For example, she knows that the par-5 18th on Seaview Golf Club’s Bay Course in Galloway, N.J.—the “Aon risk-reward hole”at this week’s LPGA ShopRite Classic—is known for wind exposure.

“It’s a very open course, so it's important that before every shot you know the wind direction,” she says. “The 18th is quite reachable for most players in the field. So obviously the priority would be to hit the fairway off the tee and give myself the best opportunity to reach the green on the second shot.”

Bunkers guard the fairway on both sides, while thick bushes down the left can eat up errant shots: “I normally carry my drives around 250, and the book says it’s a 241-yard carry over the right-side trap, while on the left I have to carry it 267 to clear the bushes—they’re all in play.” Liu is also well aware that the frequent wind can wreak havoc on those carries. Thus, she determines that favoring the right side off the tee will optimize her success. “It's very important to think rationally on the course,” she says. “Knowing I can trust specific numbers like carry distances gives me assurance that I'm able to produce consistent results. I've built confidence based on consistent outcomes. You need confidence when you play golf, to peak at the most-important moments.” Putting her faith in those numbers can add up to victory.