You probably didn't notice, but Yani Tseng has broken out of her slump
As we saw with the Presidents Cup, golf played in South Korea -- even good golf -- can get lost in the shuffle back in the United States. So while many people probably missed Lexi Thompson winning her sixth career LPGA Tour title, even more didn't notice who she beat by one shot.
Yani Tseng birdied her final two holes for a Sunday 68, but it wasn't enough to catch the 20-year-old Thompson. Still, despite not being able to end a three-year-plus winless drought, it was another encouraging sign that the former World No. 1 is back on track.
When Tseng last won at the 2012 Kia Classic, she was the undisputed queen of the LPGA Tour. That victory gave her three wins in her first five events that year and 15 total, including five majors, at age 23. Thompson and Lydia Ko were phenoms on the rise, but it looked like they would have to wait awhile to assert themselves with the sport's dominant player being so young as well. And then. . . well, we're not really sure what happened.
Tseng wasn't terrible the rest of 2012, but her four top fives didn't match what was expected from a player who had won four majors over the previous two seasons. The 2013 campaign began in promising fashion with a runner-up in Australia and a T-3 in Thailand, but it contained no other top fives and just two top 10s. And things got worse in 2014 with just two top 10s.
But we're starting to see signs of the player who seemed destined to blow past Annika Sorenstam's 10 majors. Including her T-2 in South Korea, Tseng has two runner-ups and a fifth-place finish in her past four starts to move up to 22nd on the 2015 LPGA Tour money list. Also encouraging is she's played her best on Sundays, averaging 67 in those starts.
Ko, Thompson, Inbee Park, and Stacy Lewis comprise the current foursome that has separated itself from the rest of the LPGA Tour pack. If Tseng, still only 26, has re-found her game, though, they're going to have to make room for a fifth.
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