Tseng’s double-figure season
With a victory last week in the Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open, a Ladies European Tour event held in China, Yani Tseng built her season winning total to 11, including seven wins on the LPGA Tour. Tseng must win the final three events of the LPGA Tour season to reach double figures.
In October, Tseng recorded three victories and a second place in tournaments around the world. In 14 rounds, she posted 12 rounds in the 60s, all rounds under par and finished 68-66-66 to win in China, her 20th worldwide professional title in four seasons.
Tseng’s 11 worldwide wins have come in the United States, Thailand, Scotland, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia and China.
Yani Tseng leads a majority of the statistical categories with three events remaining in the 2011 season. One of the most interesting is the Driving Distance category. Tseng’s 267.9-yard average in more than a yard ahead of second-place Maria Hjorth (266.5).
In the last 20 years, the Driving Distance leader has usually been far behind the lead in the Earnings category. The only exceptions were Laura Davies in 1994, Annika Sorenstam in 2003 and Lorena Ochoa in 2008, all who led both. Tseng is trying to pull the same double.
Since joining the LPGA Tour in 2008, Tseng has been a consistent contender in the Driving Distance category. This includes a 266.1-yard average in 2008, which ranked sixth; 269.2 in 2009, which was third; and 262.3 last year, which was 10th.
A look at the Driving Distance leaders and Earnings leaders in the 2000s:
|Yr||Distance Leader||Avg||$ Finish||$ Leader||Distance (Rank)|
|2000||Caroline Blaylock||270.0||120||Karrie Webb||Not ranked top 50|
|2001||Wendy Doolan||265.8||27||Annika Sorenstam||252.3 (T26)|
|2002||Akiko Fukishima||269.3||42||Sorenstam||265.6 (4)|
|2003||Annika Sorenstam||269.7||1||Sorenstam||269.7 (1)|
|2004||Sophie Gustafson||270.2||65||Sorenstam||268.2 (3)|
|2005||Brittany Lincicome||270.3||72||Sorenstam||263.0 (T4)|
|2006||Karin Sjodin||284.5||77||Lorena Ochoa||269 (7)|
|2007||Karen Sjodin||275.8||58||Ochoa||270.6 (T3)|
|2008||Lorena Ochoa||269.3||1||Ochoa||269.3 (1)|
|2009||Vicky Hurst||272.5||44||Jiyai Shin||246.8 (T98)|
|2010||Michelle Wie||274.5||9||Na Yeon Choi||252.4 (T38)|
Current Distance Leaders:
1 Yani Tseng 267.9
2 Maria Hjorth 266.5
3 Brittany Lincicome 266.2
4 Michelle Wie 265.5
5 Ryann O'Toole 265.0
6 Gerina Piller 264.3
7 Jessica Korda 263.6
8 Nicole Hage 262.5
9 Vicky Hurst 262.4
10 Brittany Lang 262.1
Best Asian swing finishers
It’s hard to top Yani Tseng’s 1-2-1 finish in the first three events of the Asian swing for the LPGA Tour leading into this week’s Mizuno Classic in Japan. But these players have also been stellar:
- Na Yeon Choi: Won Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, second at LPGA Hana Bank Championship. Also a T29.
- Amy Yang: T2, T7 and T15, including a co-runnerup to Yani Tseng at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship.
- Brittany Lang: T13, T5 and T54, including the best finish at the Sime Darby Malaysia.
- Azahara Munoz: T25, 3 and T2 the last three weeks.
- Se Ri Pak: After being disqualified at her home country Hana Bank Championship for signing an incorrect scorecard in the first round, Pak came back with a fourth at the Sime Darby Malaysia and a 15th-place finish at the Sunrise LPGA Championship in Taiwan.
Shin back from back ailment
Jiyai Shin has won two of the last three Mizuno Classics and her game has rounded into shape for her Mizuno Classic title defense this week in Japan. Shin took the month of September off with a back ailment and has been consistent in her return, with finishes of T7, T13 and T29 in the last three tournaments in Asia.
Shin’s record at the Mizuno Classic is impressive, with two wins and a T5 finish and nine consecutive rounds in the 60s. Here’s a look at her performances:
Mizuno Classic notes
This year marks the 39th Mizuno Classic and the sixth consecutive played at Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club…The Mizuno Classic has had three consecutive South Korean winners and 17 international champions in succession. The last American winner was Betsy King in 1993 ... Annika Sorenstam won the Mizuno Classic a record five consecutive times from 2001-2005. She set the tournament record of 24-under-par 192 in 2003 at Seta Golf Course.
Back Down Under
The 2012 season will begin in February with the co-sanctioned Women’s Australian Open at Royal Melbourne. The $1.1 million ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open will be played from Feb. 9-12 and begins a three-tournament swing in Asia that includes stops in Thailand (Honda LPGA Thailand) and Singapore (HSBC Women’s Champions). In 2013, the Australian Open will move to Royal Canberra.
The Australian Ladies Masters was co-sanctioned by the LPGA and Australian Ladies Professional Golf from 1997-2000, and they also sanctioned an unofficial team event in Perth in 2007. Royal Melbourne will be the site of The Presidents Cup in mid-November.
Yani Tseng won the 2011 event at Commonwealth Golf Club in Melbourne. Australian Karrie Webb has won he event four times, including consecutive victories from 1998-2000.