Yani Tseng (曾雅妮) dominated a high-class field to successfully defend her Women’s Australian Open title by seven shots at Melbourne’s Commonwealth course yesterday.
The three-time major champion was in control throughout the final 18 holes to close with a two-under 71 for a 72-hole aggregate of 16-under 276.
Tseng, 22, voted last year’s LPGA Player of the Year, ran away from the field with the anticipated challenge from South Korean rival and world No. 1 Shin Ji-yai failing to materialize. The South Korean struggled to post a closing 75, but held on for a three-way share of second place with compatriot Ji Eun-hee, the 2009 US Open winner, and England’s Melissa Reid.
Reid rattled home three -consecutive birdies for the day’s equal best round of 68.
American Jennifer Song was outright fifth on seven under, while Australians Katherine Hull (76) and Karrie Webb (70) finished tied seventh at five-under.
Laura Davies of England shot 74 and finished at 290, 14 strokes behind the winner.
The finishing stretch became a stroll for Tseng, despite a tense moment when tournament officials approached the final group on the 14th fairway to issue a warning for slow play.
The distraction did not have an impact on the world No. 5, who was exceptional from tee to green during a tough week of fluctuating weather conditions.
“It’s always been my goal to be number one and I think I’m getting a little closer,” Tseng said. “I hit the ball very solid every day. I felt really good with my swing and feel very confident. I just need to bring that confidence to my whole year.”