Yani Tseng's incredible season
Yani Tseng attended a friend's wedding in Taiwan last week, and that gave someone else a chance to win the Mizuno Classic, the LPGA stop in Japan. The way Tseng has played this year, her not being in the field might be the only way anyone else has a chance. She'll conclude her LPGA season this week at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational and the following week at the CME Titleholders, with a chance to post numbers that are the most dominating in nearly a decade and, in fact, could rival the best season ever in women's golf.
With seven LPGA wins and four other titles worldwide this year, Tseng has the most victories since Annika Sorenstam won 11 LPGA events in 2002 and two on other tours to match the record 13 by Mickey Wright in 1963. And Tseng just keeps getting better. Since the State Farm Classic in June, she has played a dozen LPGA events and won six, including the Wegmans LPGA Championship and the Ricoh Women's British Open. At the age of 22, she has emerged as the best player in women's golf and already has 20 of the 27 points needed to qualify for the LPGA Hall of Fame.
Tseng, who has wrapped up her second Rolex Player of the Year Award as well as the money title, is No. 1 in scoring average (69.38), driving distance (267.9 yards), birdies (333), rounds under par (73.9 percent), rounds in the 60s (56.5 percent) and top-10 finishes (65 percent). She's second in greens in regulation (76 percent) and fourth in putts per GIR (1.76)--a pretty deadly combination. She also leads the tour in something not measured by numbers--intimidation. At the LPGA Championship she sent an early message to Cindy LaCrosse in their final-round pairing when she outdrove her by 60 yards on the third hole on her way to a 10-stroke victory. At the Women's British Open she coasted home by four strokes. Her five majors are more than the three Nancy Lopez had in her career, equal the number by Amy Alcott and Se Ri Pak and her next major triumph will tie her with Pat Bradley, Betsy King, Patty Sheehan and Kathy Whitworth. That's pretty heady company.