Golf: Tseng successfully defends her title in Thailand

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Yani Tseng
Image: Wojciech Migda (Wikimedia Commons).

Taiwanese world number one golfer Yani Tseng recaptured her 2011 title by one stroke over Miyazato Ai of Japan. She won the sixth staging of the Honda LPGA Thailand tournament, the LPGA Tour 2012's second event, which was hosted on the Siam Country Club Pattaya Old Course over four days from February 16.

Tseng began the competition with a mediocre round of 73, which put her in the middle of the leaderboard at the 36th position. On the following two days she made moved atop the ranks with two 65s to sit comfortably on the second position entering Sunday's final round, one stroke behind the leader - Miyazato Ai.

On Sunday she made an eagle on the first hole to tie Miyazato, who made a birdie. Tseng moved one clear after a birdie on the 3rd, and as the Japanese bogeyed fifth and sixth, Yani's birdie on the sixth hole gave her a comfortable 4-stroke advantage over Miyazato.

In the meantime the Hall of Fame member Karrie Webb of Australia moved into a second position three strokes behind Tseng with a birdie on the sixth. However, subsequent quadruple bogey on the par 5 seventh shattered any hopes of her catching the leader.

After nine holes Tseng's nearest rival was former world's ranking leader Shin Jiyai of South Korea, who held a three strokes deficit. A two-shot swing on the tenth, where Tseng made a bogey against Miyazato's and Shin's birdies, cut the lead to a single shot. However, Tseng finished with two consecutive birdies to hold off a late charge by Miyazato.

With the Sunday's win 23-year old Tseng has earned US$225,000. It was her thirteenth LPGA Tour title and 21st win worldwide.

Tseng was playing with medical tapes on her right elbow. During a press conference she said it was a treatment for recurring triceps tendinitis she's been fighting for the past five years.