Yani Tseng, Taiwan’s top female golfer, said on Tuesday, a day after losing her world No. 1 title, that she only realized how much pressure she had been under and how she regretted not being able to enjoy the sport after feeling tears on her face.
The 24-year-old Tseng, who conceded top spot in the rankings to Stacy Lewis after the 28-year-old American won the LPGA Founders Cup in Phoenix, Arizona, on Sunday, posted a message on Facebook to reveal her emotion, faith and love of the sport.
“It would be a lie to say I am not sad at all,” said Tseng, who in 2008 became the first player from Taiwan to win an LPGA major.
Although Tseng used to describe being in top spot as “lonely and tough,” she said in the message that she would never forget the 109 weeks when she held the title.
“It is not a loss, it only allows me more time to prepare myself for the future and think everything through, as well as learn to deal with every setback in life,” said Tseng, who is now ranked second in the world.
In the message posted from California, the golf great said she was glad to return to her home in the US, where she started to play on the LPGA Tour five years ago.
“It will help me to have a fresh start and get ready to enjoy my future journey,” she said.
Tseng, only the second female golfer to have held the world ranking for more than 100 consecutive weeks, following Lorena Ochoa of Mexico, also thanked her fans and said it was bittersweet to be at the top, although the experience has taught her to be grateful.
“After all, I am really lucky,” she said, adding that golf is a sport that gives players long-term career perspectives. “I have never given up my childhood dream and have managed to reach the goal within a few years of turning professional.”
Tseng started to compete at the age of six and is the youngest golfer to win five major championships. She took the world No. 1 spot from Shin Ji-yai of South Korea in 2011 after notching up three straight victories at the beginning of that year.
Tseng’s message attracted more than 11,000 “likes” in a few hours, along with comments encouraging her to keep her dream alive and to reclaim her title.