Yani Tseng (曾雅妮) said yesterday that she gave the NT$2 million (US$69,000) she won in prize money for capturing this year’s Taifong Ladies Open to her mother, who fulfilled a wish by serving as Tseng’s caddy on the tournament’s final day on Sunday.
The 21-year-old golfer said that after she finished Saturday’s second round in fourth place, her mother asked to caddy for her on the final day of the event, but had one condition: If Tseng won, her mother would claim the first-place prize money.
“At that time, I was still trailing and didn’t think I could win,” Tseng said, but she later admitted that she may have made the commitment too hastily.
Tseng won the tournament after rallying for a 4-under-par 68 on the final day to defeat Nam Min-ji of South Korea by three shots.
She had finished the opening round in 34th place after shooting a 77, but improved to a 73 on Saturday to move up 30 places on the leaderboard.
Tseng said her mother had always wanted to caddy for her, but the wish was not realized until Sunday, and it came with a surprisingly healthy payday.
“This is absolutely an exception,” Tseng said of the deal with her mother.
Professional golfers usually pay their caddies roughly 10 percent of their winnings.
The young golfer attributed her success over the past year to a change in attitude and approach. She said that after becoming a professional golfer, her main goal was to become the world’s top golfer, but her emphasis on scoring led to inconsistent results.
Advice from one of the sport’s greats, Annika Sorenstam — to not just think of winning but focus on the process — helped improve her mindset and brought greater consistency to her game, Tseng said.
“Regardless of whether it’s the 10th hole or the 18th, I have to concentrate on each one equally,” she said.
The new attitude helped her capture three LPGA titles, including two majors — the Kraft Nabisco Championship and Women’s British Open — last year, when she was also named the LPGA Player of the Year.
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