by Jeff Skinner
With most of the golf world focused on the battle for number one in Dubai this week the real battle turned out to be down under in Australia. Yani Tseng shot a four under 68 to win the ANZ EACV Ladies Masters and with it claimed her second consecutive victory and took over the top spot in the Rolex Rankings.
The 22 year old from Taiwan started the day with a three stroke lead but couldn’t distance herself from Stacy Lewis. When she birdied nine and then twelve she started to close the door on the field and with her eagle on the par five fifteenth she slammed the door shut and closed it out with at comfortable lead.
Lewis had a chance to close the gap with birdie putts at the eighth and ninth but couldn’t convert and left the green frustrated. Lewis finished the day tied for second with Australian Nikki Campbell who blistered the course with a closing eight under 64.
Tseng has to be considered the best golfer in the world right now, on any tour, men included. She won her second and third majors last season, the only golfer to win two majors last year, and has kept her hot streak going with back to back wins in Australia to start the season.
While she has stated her goal is to be number one, you won’t meet a more modest golfer anywhere. “I never expected this to come true,” Tseng said. “Everything is feeling so good, winning, being world number one.”
Tseng started playing in this tournament as an amateur at age sixteen and appreciates how big this win will be received in her home country. “I’ve wanted to have my picture of Championship Drive (where all the past Masters are on display) since I first came here in 2005.” “Hopefully (it will be on) the first page of the newspaper. I think it is going to be huge.”
Tseng was named LPGA rookie of the year in 2008 and she is the fastest player to have won three major championships. She is as focused as any golfer in the world and has befriended former number one, Annika Sorenstam and uses her as her mentor. She even purchased Sorenstam’s old house last season. At this rate she’ll have plenty of hardware to put in her trophy room.
“I don’t want to be number one for one week or two weeks, I want to still be there at the end of the year.” Today’s win gives her a good start.