Yani Tseng (曾雅妮) won the LPGA Taiwan Championship yesterday for her 12th worldwide victory and second in front of her adoring home fans this year.
The 22-year-old Taiwanese star closed with a six-under 66 at Sunrise for a five-stroke victory over Spain’s Azahara Munoz and South Korea’s Amy Yang.
“I play [sic] really, really good today, I was bogey-free,” Tseng said. “I wish this year would go on forever so I could win more, but I can always get better.”
Photo: Pichi Chuang, Reuters
The top-ranked Tseng finished on a 16-under 272 and earned US$300,000 for her seventh LPGA Tour victory of the season to increase her tour-leading total to US$2,873,629. She donated US$100,000 to the Golf Association of the Republic of China to support junior golf.
Tseng won her first four events this year, taking the Taiwanese tour’s Taifong Ladies and sweeping the Australian Women’s Open and Ladies Masters before opening the LPGA Tour season with a victory in the LPGA Thailand.
The LPGA Tour player of the year for the second straight season, Tseng won major titles this summer in the LPGA Championship and Women’s British Open and has 12 victories in four seasons on the tour.
Tseng wore her signature pink polo shirt to tee off on the final round, determined to keep her lead position and win the trophy on home turf.
Many fans were waiting at the first hole before Tseng even appeared, with some wearing the same outfit as their idol, and some who responded to a request by Tseng a day earlier to wear a charity T-shirt to show their support.
Tseng had called for her fans on Saturday to wear T-shirts emblazoned with the words “How Cho” — a rough Chinese transliteration of the phrase “good shot” (haoqiu, 好球) — in support of the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation.
After opening with rounds of 68, 71 and 67 to take a two-stroke lead into the final round, Tseng birdied the par-three second and reached 14-under with birdies on the par-five sixth and par-four seventh and eighth holes.
She parred the next seven holes, birdied the par-three 16th, increased her lead to four strokes with a par on the par-four 17th and birdied the par-five 18th.
“I could feel victory at the 18th hole, especially with so many fans yelling ‘Go, go,’” Tseng said.
Yang finished with a 67 and Munoz had a 68.
The US’ Morgan Pressel shot a 65 — the best round of the week in the inaugural tournament, to tie for fourth with Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist (71) at nine-under.
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