For seventh-seeded Chinese Taipei, the leadership of a former world No. 1 and a seasoned veteran could be just what it needs to make some noise at the inaugural International Crown.
Yani Tseng, who held the world’s top spot for 110 weeks, headlines this four-member squad and will be looking to lead her team to glory in a year in which she has begun to regain some of her championship form. Teresa Lu, who won the 2013 Mizuno Classic as a non-LPGA member, 13-year LPGA veteran and four-time tournament champion Candie Kung and 21-year-old Hsuan-Yu Yao round out the Chinese team as the one-of-a-kind event approaches.
Tseng has one of the most impressive resumes of any current LPGA player. Not only is she a 15-time tournament champion, but she has won five major titles, is a two-time Rolex Player of the Year and amassed more than $9.5 million in career earnings.
The 2008 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year, Tseng also won the 2011 Vare Trophy and was the Tour’s top money-winner that year. But, she lost her stroke in 2012 and 2013, floundering and struggling as her world ranking plummeted.
Tseng has shown signs of her former self, notching two top-10 finishes this season, and she would like nothing more than to announce her return to form by leading her team to an impressive finish in Maryland.
Lu, who was last an LPGA member in 2010, won the Resort Trust Ladies Open on the Japan LPGA Tour last week and could be a wild card in the match-play team event. Kung, who was born in Chinese Taipei and has become a U.S. citizen, will also be looked to for leadership as a veteran who has earned more than $5.8 million on Tour.
Yao is the baby of the group, but has proven herself in the past. She tied for 11th at the 2011 Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship and tied for 38th in the tournament the following year.
The Chinese foursome begins play on Thursday, July 24, with a matchup against No. 2 South Korea, then moves on to play third-ranked Japan on Friday and No. 6 Sweden on Saturday. That trio provides a tough test for Tseng and her compatriots, but a hot putting day or laser-like precision with irons could provide upsets and high drama once play begins.
This is the second of eight looks at the teams set to compete in the inaugural International Crown, July 24-27, at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md. LPGA.com will continue to roll out these features every Friday leading up to the four-day event, so stay tuned for more in-depth descriptions of each four-member team.
Topics: International Crown