Contention consistency gives Amy Yang hope for first-time win
Take a look at the top-15 players in the Rolex Rankings and see quite an impressive list of the world’s most talented and famous women golfers. They are women whose tenacity and devotion to the sport has taken them to the winner’s circle time and time again. In fact, 132 victories are divided among this group of LPGA Tour pros.
Among those victories, 38 of them are allotted to LPGA great Karrie Webb, with No. 1 Yani Tseng and No. 11 Cristie Kerr taking 15 each while recent Korean standout Jiyai Shin claims 11 and Norway’s Suzann Pettersen has 10.
And then there’s the 2012 Rolex Player of the Year Stacy Lewis, who clinched her sixth-career win last week at the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore.
There are also three players who, over the past year, showcased faultless consistency and captured their first official LPGA win, which includes China’s Shanshan Feng, 2012 Rookie of the Year So Yeon Ryu and Japan’s Mika Miyazato.
But there stands a unique outlier in No. 15 Amy Yang, who is the only professional among the group yet to grab a win on the LPGA Tour.
A model of consistency as a six-year LPGA Tour pro, Yang has made headlines for spectacular play at numerous major events. The 23-year-old has proven to be a top competitor each season, snagging the lead at events like the 2012 Kraft Nabisco Championship and U.S. Women’s Open, and being paired with players like Yani Tseng and Na Yeon Choi, just to name a few.
But despite her efforts to remain at the top of the leaderboard, Yang has yet to close out with a victory, claiming 21 top-10 finishes and four runner-ups in her career.
Although the statistic may form an aggression in some players to fix their game, the South Korean says she keeps her mental game in check by reminding herself that perfection is not her key to success.
“I used to put so much pressure on myself and try to be perfect at my game,” Yang says of her previous years on Tour. “I realized my mental game just kept getting worse and worse. I came across the quote ‘remind yourself it’s okay to not be perfect,’ and I think of that every time I get so frustrated on my golf game. It works!”
With a few slight changes during the off season, Yang says her confidence has increased and now has a fresh outlook on her golf game.
“I've worked hard on my game in this off season and I just started work with a new swing coach and gym trainer,” said Yang. “I feel very fresh and I also have very good feelings about this season.”
Rather than setting specific statistical goals this season, the ever positive Yang has set a more general and perceptual direction for herself and the 2013 season.
“I won’t say I want my first win on LPGA Tour,” Yang says of her goals for this year. “For this 2013 season I just want to enjoy golf and have fun! For too long I was thinking about to win a first event on the LPGA Tour and a lot of people around me have been saying that to me and I think I was putting so much pressure on myself. It doesn’t mean I won’t work hard because I am still going to work hard, try hard, and do my best every day I play.”