Yani Tseng trying to finish how she started
NAPLES, Florida (AP)
It sure doesn't look like Yani Tseng had a bad year, even though it might feel that way.
She has won three times on the U.S. LPGA Tour, the most of any player except for Stacy Lewis. She is closing in on $1.5 million in prize money, putting her fourth on the money list. And she comes into the final tournament, the LPGA Titleholders, having finished no worse than fourth in her previous three events. Compared with almost anyone else, it's been a great year.
Compared with what Tseng did a year ago, it qualifies as a slump.
''So maybe I can win this tournament, you never know,'' Tseng said on Wednesday at TwinEagles. ''It doesn't matter the results of this week. I feel I still have had a successful year. I'm still No. 1, so don't forget about that. So I still can have a happy ending.''
Tseng is assured of remaining atop the women's world ranking, mainly because she started the season with an enormous lead, and built upon that by winning three times in four events leading into the first major of the year.
And then, mysteriously, she didn't win again.
She squandered a chance at contending in the Kraft Nabisco and didn't come remotely close at the other three majors. Along the way, she fired her caddie and tried to hire him back, only to discover he had another job with Na Yeon Choi, the U.S. Women's Open champion.
Tseng isn't quite sure what happened, except that she was buried under expectations that followed someone who had won 12 times around the world in 2011.
''The last three or four months, I was really trying too hard and putting myself (under) too much pressure, and I second-guessed myself if I can still win a tournament,'' she said. ''I was just struggling, but I wasn't very happy. ... People email me on Facebook and say, `I don't see your smile anymore.' I feel bad about that.''
That was what she learned. Have fun. Smile.
The results are starting to come around, and Tseng now looks forward to next year. And there's still one tournament to go.
Lewis has wrapped up the tour player of the year, but Tseng still looks at herself as the best in women's golf, and she still has that No. 1 ranking.
''It's good to see her win,'' Tseng of Lewis. ''Kind of disappointed, too, but it's already the last tournament, I have no chance to get it back. But I was trying really hard, that's why I was playing six in a row. But she was playing good, and I'm happy to see that. Hopefully, next year, I can get it back.''