Top-Ranked Yani Tseng Leads Elite Field at Shoprite LPGA Classic
The tournament begins on Friday in Galloway.
Yani Tseng says she feels confident, letting the assembled media know
that's not always the case.
However, the world's No. 1 player still has to beat a field that includes winners of every tournament this season and Brittany Lincicome, the defending champion.
The three-round tournament, which begins June 1 and concludes on June 3, includes 21 of the top-25 battling for their part of the $1.5 million purse.
"This week I feel confident and ready to go," Tseng said.
It may surprise some that the Taiwanese golfer isn't always the most
confident golfer on the course.
Despite being just 23 years old, Tseng is the two -time Rolex Player of the
Year. She is the youngest women's golfer to win two straight. She is also the youngest to win five majors.
Tseng has already won three times this season and has eight top 10 finishes.
“The pressure is there,” Tseng said. “I try to turn the pressure into motivation. It’s a good pressure; it’s not a negative pressure. I really enjoy it. A couple years ago people were always asking me, 'you finished so well, but don’t get as much recognition as the PGA guys.' But now it’s getting much better; people know who I am and it’s fun.”
However, Tseng knows that every week is a challenge from her peers and the course, and this week is no different.
“The greens are very tough,” she explained. “It’s up and down. When it gets very windy, the long hitters come out better because you can hit the ball lower.”
Although Tseng has an all-around game she can hit the ball a long way, leading the tour in 2011 in driving distance average (262.2 yards).
This season Tseng is fourth (275) behind a trio of long hitters, including
Lincicome who leads the tour with a 283 yard average.
Lincicome has yet to win on tour this season, but has three top-10 finishes, including fourth-place tie at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic on April 19.
The winner of that tournament was 27-year-old Stacy Lewis, the No. 7 ranked player on tour. Lewis followed up the victory, by finishing tied for fifth at the Sybase Match Play Championship in Gladstone.
Lewis, a Texas native, has six top 10 finishes this season, and looks to continue her solid play at the Shoprite LPGA Classic, where she has struggled in the past.
“I haven’t been very successful on this golf course, but hopefully it will be better this year,” Lewis said. “I haven’t quite figured out the greens. The greens are tough. You get some bad bounces.”
Also in the field is Azahara Munoz, who won the Sybase Match Play Championship. The third-year pro from Spain has finished in the top 10 three times this year.