Yani Tseng 's personal motto has always been to "keep smile" when she's on the golf course. Now the No. 1 player in the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings is trying to give fans in her native Taiwan a glimpse into her life behind that smile and her rise into taking over the top spot in women's golf.
On Monday in Taipei, Tseng helped kick off the start of the Yani's Smile and Courage Exhibition. The event, which is taking place in a local mall, features some of her personal writings including a diary she kept during the 2010 RICOH Women's British Open; yardage books with her own handwritten notes; photos and other personal artifacts in an "18-hole" style format. The exhibition runs Oct. 22-Nov. 4 in Taipei.
"I think it's very cool," Tseng said of the exhibition. "I think my team and all my staff are doing a great job putting this all together. It kind of reminded me, wow this is how much I've been through these past few years with my golf professional life. I was really happy to see it. I hope that we can use this exhibition to inspire more people to dream big because you never know if one day it will happen, just like me.
"I want to let people know more about golf because you always see it from the outside and not inside into what we are thinking. What we are trying to do with a yardage book. It's kind of special because I never show any people that, my yardage book. I think it's a great opportunity for people to see it. I really want to thank my team because they did a good job on that exhibition because they've been working on it 3-4 months, I think it came out perfect."
The press conference also helped mark the launch of Tseng's international fan club. And as part of the festivities, Tseng was joined at the kick-off of her exhibition by Taiwanese taekwondo athlete Tseng Li-cheng, who won a bronze medal at the London Olympics.
Monday's event was meant to be a celebration of Tseng's return to Taiwan but the day also became emotional for the 23-year-old. Her eyes filled with tears as she recounted the ups and downs she has faced since becoming the women's world No. 1 golfer.
"I just want to let people know this is not easy but I'm still working really hard and doing my best to keep world No. 1 and to really enjoy the life," Tseng said. "It's very hard for me the past 3-4 months and now it's getting better. I wish the fans keep supporting me no matter how I play."
Tseng won 12 championships in 2011, including seven LPGA Tour titles. She got off to a hot start again this season, winning three of the LPGA's first five events in 2012 but her season started to take a downturn back in June. She went a stretch of 11 consecutive tournaments without a top-10 finish, which included three missed cuts, until she finally broke through with a third-place finish at last week's LPGA KEB·HanaBank Championship.