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Yani's Greatest Hits
KELLI ANDERSON
June 16, 2008
When talented 19-year-old rookie Yani Tseng finally relaxed and got into the flow, she shot past the biggest names in women's golf and pulled off a major upset at the LPGA Championship
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June 16, 2008

Yani's Greatest Hits

When talented 19-year-old rookie Yani Tseng finally relaxed and got into the flow, she shot past the biggest names in women's golf and pulled off a major upset at the LPGA Championship

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Sorenstam had her own trouble converting birdie chances. Her best opportunity came on the 415-yard, par-4 13th, after Lee and Hjorth sent spectators ducking for cover with tee shots that flew far left of the fairway. Hjorth's ball caromed off a SkyCaddie technician and a spectator before landing in waist-high fescue. When a search party of a dozen people failed to find the ball, Hjorth had to play her provisional and wound up making a double bogey. Lee had to take two whacks to get out of the hay and also made a double, so Sorenstam—who had earned an appreciative round of applause for simply putting her tee shot in the fairway—only needed to make par to join Tseng atop the leader board. Instead Sorenstam's birdie chip bounced off the hole, and she missed a four-footer for par. Asked if there were any shots she'd like back, she said, "I don't know where to begin. A dozen or two would do it."

Hjorth made up lost ground with birdies on 15 and 16, but she blew her chance to beat Tseng in regulation with a bogey at 17. Hjorth admitted that she didn't know much about the teenager who beat her. "I only know she's been playing really well this year."

Tseng, who grew up outside Taipei and started playing golf as a five-year-old, has been playing well for years. Among her 19 international amateur victories was a win over Michelle Wie in the 2004 U.S. Women's Public Links and a victory over Morgan Pressel a year later in the North and South Amateur. Tseng spent 2007, her first year as a pro, on the Asian and Canadian tours before sailing through LPGA Q school on her first attempt last fall. (Tseng's caddie last week, Sherry Lin, a 26-year-old friend from Taiwan, is also an LPGA rookie.) In 10 starts before the LPGA Championship, Tseng had a pair of seconds and never finished worse than 28th. Given her high standards, she was understandably disappointed with the 73 she shot in the opening round. "I tried to play everything perfect," she said.

Her coaches, two-time PGA Championship winner Dave Stockton and his son Ron, encouraged Tseng to relax, and Friday's 70 led to Saturday's nearly flawless 65, which put her only four shots off the lead going into the final round. Four birdies on the first eight holes brought Tseng to the top of the leader board, which is a sight LPGA fans might get used to seeing, just as Yan-i! Yan-i! is a sound they'll no doubt get used to hearing.

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