Yani Tseng, the Winner of Kia Classic
Yani Tseng won the LPGA Founders Cup on Sunday in Phoenix; it is her 14th LPGA Tour title and second in four events this year. The 23-year-old Taiwanese star led the tour last season with seven victories — including major victories in the LPGA Championship and Women’s British Open — and finished the year with 12 worldwide titles.
In fact, top-ranked Yani Tseng was far from her best in the first round of the Kia Classic. Tseng finished with a birdie on the par-4 ninth after dropping a stroke on the par-3 eighth when she drew a difficult lie in a greenside bunker.
“She hits a lot of great shots,” said playing partner Suzann Pettersen, a stroke back at 68. “Her bad shots are still very acceptable. She recovers well from whenever she is in trouble. She has a pretty sharp short game. That’s probably what saves her the most. She can be more aggressive and even afford to miss a green on the short side, even kind of saving her par.”
“I’m enjoying it,” Tseng said. “I’m always excited for every week, every week that’s coming up and trying to win every tournament. I’m learning from mistakes and every tournament I’m learning something, so that’s pretty good for me. Because it’s very exciting to see this year what can I improve on my game. … And just to see how far I can go.”
The 23-year-old Tseng has two victories in four events this year. She led the tour last season with seven victories – including major victories in the LPGA Championship and Women’s British Open – and finished the year with 12 worldwide titles.
“It plugged in the bunker,” Tseng said. “I didn’t have a good lie there. I chipped out pretty good to 6 feet and just missed (the putt) a little bit to the right.” She added, “I think I hit a good shot,” Tseng said. “Sometimes you hit a good shot; you get good luck and a good bounce.” Tseng hit eight of 14 fairways and 12 of 18 greens in regulation.
“I didn’t hit a lot of fairways,” Tseng said. “This golf course is very narrow and the rough is really long. If you don’t hit the fairways, it’s kind of very hard to get close to the pin.” a two-time LPGA Tour winner who fought a hip injury the last two seasons also had six birdies and a bogey — also on No. 8 — on La Costa’s Legends Course. She hit all but one fairway. “Everything is good for me,” I’m really calm,” Oh said. “My shot is really good, so I have a good score.”