October 28, 2013, BRASELTON, Ga. - LPGA global superstar Yani Tseng, along with the Taiwan-based Swinging Skirts Golf Foundation, will host the Yani Tseng Invitational presented by Swinging Skirts from 2014-2016 in Southern California.
The first edition of this American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) invitational will be held from June 30 - July 3, 2014, and features 72 of the top female junior golfers from around the world including 18 of the top international players.
“I first came to the United States when I was 12 to play in the Junior World Championship in San Diego and subsequently in many other USGA and amateur championships, so I really benefited from playing American junior golf,” Tseng said. “The AJGA is the best organization to bring players together and for me to host such a prestigious AJGA invitational in Southern California, where I played much of my junior golf, makes it extra special. I’m excited to partner with the Swinging Skirts to open a door for international junior golfers to compete at the highest level.”
Since turning professional in 2007, Tseng has amassed 26 professional victories by age 24, including major victories at the Kraft Nabisco Championship (2010), the LPGA Championship (2008, 2011) and the Ricoh Women’s British Open (2010, 2011). She was named the LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2008 and earned LPGA Tour Player of the Year honors in 2010 and 2011. Before joining the LPGA Tour, Tseng was the No. 1-ranked amateur golfer in Taiwan from 2004-2006.
“We are excited to start a new chapter of our organization by building a relationship with the AJGA,” said Kiki Yang, president of Yani Tseng International. “By staging a high-profile international golf tournament here in the United States, we will be able to help expose some of Taiwan’s best players to world-class competition.”
The Swinging Skirts Golf Foundation is a non-profit organization based out of Taiwan whose members love golf very much, both male and female, compete in a skirt or kilt on the golf course and help grow the game internationally. In addition to staging the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters (Taiwan Ladies Professional Golf Association and the Korea Ladies Professional Golf Tour co-sanctioned event), the Swinging Skirts Golf Foundation has conducted the “Dream-chasing Cup” throughout northern, central and southern Taiwan to help lay the foundation for Taiwanese junior golfers to make it to the international stage.
“With the help of Yani’s immense popularity and the tremendous support of the AJGA, it is our hope to get more young people to take up the sport and truly showcase how global the game has become,” said Johnson Wang, chairman of the Swinging Skirts Golf Foundation.
Annual proceeds from the tournament will be used to endow a Yani Tseng Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, as well as other local charities. The goal of the AJGA’s ACE Grant program is to give top-flight golf opportunities to young golfers regardless of financial resources.
“We are excited to partner with Yani Tseng and the Swinging Skirts for this tournament,” said AJGA Executive Director Stephen Hamblin. “Yani is a great role model for young golfers and more tournament opportunities for girls at the highest level are invaluable.”
Will Shanshan Feng defend her title?