Yani Tseng’s two-year run
Yani Tseng has won seven times over the past two years on the LPGA Tour, including last year’s Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G, her final victory of the 2010 season. Tseng has won seven of her last 32 starts on the LPGA Tour (22 percent). This year, Tseng has won four times on the LPGA Tour and twice on the Ladies European Tour to begin the season, at the Australian Open and Australian Ladies Masters.
With her accomplishment of winning two majors in one season for the second consecutive season, she also joins a number of single-season, multiple-majors winners.
Below is a list of multiple major winners in one season and their season victory totals:
1998…Se Ri Pak………….2…..4
*-Through the CN Canadian Women’s Open.
Note: Louise Suggs also won two major titles in 1946 as an amateur.
Arkansas’ second-round leaders
The second-round lead is evidently not a good place to be at Pinnacle Country Club. In the tournament’s four-year history, no second-round leader has gone on to win. Final-round scores of 68, 64 and 65 have been necessary to rally from behind and capture the title.
Here is how the final round shaped up:
2008….Meena Lee, Eun-Hee Ji….Seon Hwa Lee, one behind, shot a final-round 68 to win by one.
2009…Song-Hee Kim……..Jyai Shin came from seven strokes back with a 64 and won a playoff.
2010…Michelle Wie……..Yani Tseng came from three behind with a 65 to win by one.
Comebacks for Tseng
Five of Yani Tseng’s nine career LPGA Tour victories have come with a final-round rally. With last year’s victory at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G, Tseng had come from behind in four of her first five LPGA victories. In this season’s four wins, Tseng has held the lead entering the final round on three occasions. She came from two behind to win the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
Tseng’s final-round scoring average in her nine career wins is 67.7, with a low score of 65 (last year’s Walmart NW Arkansas Championship) and only one round over par (73 in the 2010 Ricoh Women’s British Open).
Wie in Arkansas
In finishing second last year at Pinnacle Country Club, Michelle Wie recorded career lows for 54 holes (201), 18 holes (second-round 64) and nine holes (7-under 28 on the back nine in the second round). It was her second appearance at the tournament, having finished T27 in 2009. Of her six competitive rounds thus far in Arkansas, only one (final-round 73 in 2009) has been over par.
Strong Solheim Cup contingent in Arkansas
The field this week includes 21 of the 24 members of the Solheim Cup teams, including all 12 United States team members. The European Team will be represented by Suzann Pettersen, Christel Boeljon, Laura Davies, Sandra Gal, Sophie Gustafson, Catriona Matthew, Azahara Mũnoz, Anna Nordqvist, and Karen Stupples. Another European Team member, Caroline Hedwall of Sweden, won last week’s UNIQA Ladies Open in Austria on the Ladies European Tour. It was Hedwall’s third victory this season.
Stacy Lewis goes home
Stacy Lewis goes home this week to Arkansas. Actually, Lewis is from Texas but played collegiately at the University of Arkansas. Lewis made her debut at Pinnacle Country Club in 2007 when she was a senior on the Lady Razorbacks’ golf team. She shot a first-round 65 to take the lead, then massive rains came and the tournament became an 18-hole event, with Lewis declared the unofficial winner. In four starts at Pinnacle, Lewis has recorded seven of her 10 rounds in the 60s and had a best “official” finish of tie for ninth last season when she shot three consecutive 69s.
Kang’s professional debut
Two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Danielle Kang will be making her professional debut this week after receiving a sponsor exemption into the field. Kang, 18, was the first player to repeat in the U.S. Women’s Amateur since Kelli Kuehne in 1995-1996. Kang played collegiately at Pepperdine and has participated in five major championships, with a best finish of T49 at this year’s Ricoh Women’s British Open, where she was the low amateur.
Here’s a look at some other U.S. Women’s Amateur champions and their professional debuts on the LPGA:
- JoAnne Carner made her professional debut at age 30 in 1970 after winning five U.S. Women’s Amateurs. Carner won the 1969 Burdine’s Invitational as an amateur – the last amateur to win an LPGA event. She finished T36 in defense of her Burdine’s title in 1970 and won the Wendell-West Open late in her rookie LPGA season.
- Laura Baugh won the 1971 U.S. Amateur at age 16 and made her LPGA debut in 1973 at age 18, finishing T2 at the Lady Tara Classic.
- Beth Daniel won a second U.S. Women’s Amateur in 1977 and turned pro in October 1978. She finished T7 in her professional debut at the 1979 Elizabeth Arden Classic.
- Juli Inkster won three consecutive U.S. Women’s Amateurs (1980-82) and finished T21 in her professional debut at the 1983 U.S. Women’s Open.
- Kay Cockerill won a second consecutive U.S. Women’s Amateur in 1987. She joined the LPGA in 1987 and finished T59 in her professional debut at the 1988 Women’s Kemper Open
- Vicki Goetze won the 1989 and 1992 U.S. Women’s Amateurs, defeating Annika Sorenstam in the 1992 championship match. She turned pro in 1993 and debuted with a T53 at the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic.
- Kelli Kuehne, the 1995 and 1996 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, missed the cut in her first professional tournament at the 1997 Edina Realty LPGA Classic.
- Morgan Pressel won the 2005 U.S. Women’s Amateur at age 17 and turned pro in 2006, finishing T5 at the SBS Open at Turtle Bay.
- Maria José Uribe beat Amanda Blumenherst to win the 2007 U.S. Women’s Amateur and turned pro in 2009 with a T48 at the U.S. Women’s Open.
- Amanda Blumenherst rebounded with the 2008 title and made her professional debut at the 2009 Wegmans LPGA Championship with a T32 finish.
- Jennifer Song won the 2009 U.S. Women’s Amateur and turned pro for the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open, where she placed T58.
Yani Tseng leads the Driving Distance category with a 268.4-yard average. The last Rolex Player of the Year to lead that category was Lorena Ochoa (269.3 average) in 2008. … World Golf Hall of Famer Babe Zaharias would have turned 100 this year (June 16, 1911 birthday). She died on Sept. 27, 1956.
Topics: Walmart NW Arkansas Championship