PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Yani Tseng first popped onto the radar screen of American golf fans in 2004 when she overpowered the par-5 finishing hole at Golden Horseshoe GC in Williamsburg, Va., for a birdie to defeat Michelle Wie and win the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship at the age of 15. Onlookers were awed -- and surprised -- as she consistently drove the ball past the much more highly-hyped teen sensation from Hawaii. There are no surprises now. Tseng is the best in the women's game at the moment, sitting at No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings.
At a time when the struggling LPGA could use a dominant player to help attract title sponsors, the likeable Tseng could emerge to fill that role. At the age of 22, she has seven career LPGA wins and a bunch more on other tours. A victory at this week's Wegmans LPGA Championship, where she started with a 66 in Thursday's first round at Locust Hill CC, would give her four of the last 13 majors, beginning with the LPGA Championship in 2008, and three of the last six.
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Tseng also won the 2010 Kraft Nabisco and Ricoh Women's British Open and has captured two titles this year on the LPGA, including the State Farm Classic two weeks ago, the last event played, and three more titles overseas. She is a power player who captivates fans with her aggressive style. And she is a player who appears to still be getting better. She is also a player who, this week, has a bit of a Rory McIlroy-like motivation going for her.