*Yani Tseng opened the final round of the Honda LPGA Thailand with an eagle and closed with a tap in birdie enroute to a 66 and to finish with a one-stroke victory at -19 over Ai Miyazato. Along with collecting $225,000 Tseng also picked up her 13th career LPGA win. Tseng reacted with quite a bit of emotion at the end of the tournament to which she stated was due to the pressure she felt after having such a successful 2011 season.
“I feel much more pressure coming into this year. Last year when I started, I was nothing, I was just in the top 5 in the world but I don’t have 12 wins or World No. 1 title. After last year, I have World No. 1 and I had 12 wins and that pressure keep going on and on. . . .So I think my team did a great job and helped a lot through this week. It was just great. I feel really good about that.”
The tournament saw the resurgence of both former number one players in Miyazato and Jiyai Shin. While Miyazato finished just one stroke off of Tseng, Shin ended up only two shots behind after shooting a final round 67. While the day clearly belonged to Tseng and her successful defense of one of her seven LPGA wins from last year, it made for an exciting final round as the field didn’t let the world number one run away with the victory.
The only two Americans to crack the top ten this week were Stacy Lewis and Amanda Blumenherst who tied for 5th at -10. Lexi Thompson tied Tseng with the low round of the day with a 66 that moved her up to a tie for 14th.
The ladies move onto Singapore this week and the HSBC Women’s Champions 2012.
*Annika Sorenstam has turned down the opportunity to captain the European team in the upcoming Solheim Cup in 2013. With seventy-two LPGA wins, ten of which were majors; Sorenstam is regarded as one of the best players the game has ever seen. She appeared in eight Solheim cups and had a record of 22-11-4 for the Euro’s. This statement was released on Sorenstam’s blog late last week. “With my young family, foundation, businesses and other commitments I have already made to try and help grow the game, I simply cannot provide the necessary time”.
While those are all legitimate excuses that undoubtedly play a huge role in her declination, what she failed to address is perhaps the biggest reason for the snub. Sorenstam has submitted a bid with Jack Nicklaus to design the new course that will be the site for the golf tournaments in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. The Rio 2016 organizing committee that will decide on the designers originally were poised to make a decision in early February. However after meeting with the eight finalists the committee has decided to push back the decision until next month. No doubt this is what Sorenstam is hoping to bide her time with over the next few years.
Sorenstam made over five million dollars last year in off course endorsements which isn’t bad when you consider she hasn’t teed it up professionally since 2008. It points to her obvious popularity and star power that she still brings to the game. Something the European team desperately needs as they look to defend the Solheim Cup on US soil in Colorado next summer. Sorenstam obviously heads a very full schedule with her various businesses and two young children and one can’t knock her for citing them as a constraint. She is free to pursue whichever avenues in business and life she chooses, but one can only imagine the benefits to the game if she decided to put her former tour a little higher on her priority list.
*Tweet of the week courtesy of LPGA player Tiffany Joh . . .
“my 11 year streak of NOT putting it off the green into the bunker was broken today…so I have that going for me…which is nice…”