Sat, Sep 01, 2012 - Page 19 News List

LPGA: Woods says Tseng to return to form

AFP, NORTON, Massachusetts

Tiger Woods predicts women’s world No. 1 Yani Tseng is going to snap out of her current slump and return to the form that has brought her five major titles.

Woods, a 14-time major champion who ended his own extended US tour title drought this year, played with Taiwan’s Tseng this week at his university buddy Notah Begay’s charity tournament and said he was glad to have a chance to meet her at last.

“I had never met her, so it was nice to see her swing, see her play and get to talk to her a little bit,” Woods said, adding that his only advice to the Taiwanese star would be to stay patient.

Tseng won three of the first five events on this year’s LPGA tour schedule, but missed the cut in three of five events heading into last week’s Canadian Women’s Open.

In Vancouver she put herself atop the leaderboard, but could not maintain her momentum over the weekend in the tournament won by another rising young star — 15-year-old amateur Lydia Ko.

Tseng, who dominated women’s golf last year with seven LPGA titles that included two majors, has admitted battling a loss of confidence.

However, Woods said the player whose Women’s British Open crown last year made her the youngest golfer to capture five majors, would find her form again.

“We’re all going to go through those lulls,” Woods said as he prepared for the US PGA Tour’s Deutsche Bank Championship. “You play this game long enough, it’s going to happen.”

“She’s won five major championships earlier than anybody in golf history, so hats off to her and she’ll be back. She’s just way too talented and I’m sure she’s going to win so many more major championships and tournaments,” he added.

Ko has also caught Woods’ eye.

“How about that, huh?” he said of the New Zealand teenager’s victory in Vancouver, which made her the youngest player ever to win an LPGA title.

Earlier this year, Ko — who was born in South Korea — won the New South Wales Open in Australia at 14 to become the youngest player to win a professional tour event.

“I had heard of her before, a couple years ago, and it was hard to believe that a 13-year-old could be that good,” Woods said of Ko.

“It’s cool to see these kids with that much talent and what they can do now at such a young age,” Woods said, adding that he did not see any similarity to himself at 15.

Woods is keeping tabs on one other young woman golfer: his niece Cheyenne Woods, who turned pro in May after a college golf career.

On Thursday he tweeted his congratulations after she won a 54-hole event in the minor-level SunCoast Ladies Series.

“Congrats to my niece Cheyenne on winning her first professional event on SunCoast Ladies Series Tour! Won by 4, very proud,” Woods posted on Twitter.

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