Sunrise Golf & Country Club
Yang Mei, Taoyuan, Taiwan
Final round notes and interviews
October 23, 2011
Yani Tseng -16, Rolex Rankings No. 1
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng captured her seventh LPGA Tour victory of the 2011 season at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship at Sunrise Golf & Country Club in Yang Mei, Taoyuan, Taiwan. Tseng shot a final round six-under par 66 to finish at 16-under par and record a five-stroke victory over Azahara Munoz and Amy Yang.
Going into Sunday's final round Tseng held a two-stroke lead over Swede Anna Nordqvist. The duo exchanged birdies on the second but Tseng's dominant play which included six birdies and zero bogeys prevailed her to her 12th career LPGA title.
In what is shaping up to be truly a year to remember for Tseng, she became the youngest player, male or female, to win five majors after her victory at the RICOH Women's British Open.
Last year's Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Azahara Munoz posted her second consecutive top-3 performance this week with a runner-up finish at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship. The Spaniard found herself near the top of the leaderboard at last week's Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia and finished in solo third.
The runner-up finish marks Yang's second of the season and the third of her career. She previously lost in a playoff to Yani Tseng at this year's Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.
Tseng-sational: Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng's smile after her victory at the inaugural Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship was so bright it could have illuminated any room. The victory marked Tseng's 12th LPGA Tour win during her short three years on Tour. While Tseng has found herself in the winner's circle at five majors, this week's victory reigns close to her heart.
"It's incredible," said Tseng. I wish this year would never end. I wish I could win more tournaments. I have two tournaments left, and then I will do my best and I'm really happy what I did this year, and so keep learning and get some more experience and try to make more history.
With her seventh LPGA Tour title this season, Tseng joins an illustrious category along with Babe Zaharias, Kathy Whitworth, Beth Daniel and Lorena Ochoa who have all notched seven LPGA Tour victories in the same season.
Giving back…Immediately following play on Sunday of the inaugural Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship, Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng announced she would donate $100,000 to Taiwan golf. Tseng has chosen the Golf Association Republic of China (GAROC), a program that helps train and develop young golfing talent in Taiwan.
"It is a long road to develop and groom a golfer. Young golfers need as much support as possible to help them compete with the best from the rest of the world, in addition to their own commitment and hard work. I hope I can set an example so more people will follow suit to help chip in and contribute to this cause in an attempt to bring out more young talents," said Tseng.
In addition to Tseng's generous donation, the Younglin Foundation will donate TWD 10 million (USD 329,244) to both the GAROC and Yani Tseng's Golf Promotion Project. The project is designed to allow golfers in Taiwan with an opportunity to gain valuable experience playing in international golf tournaments as well as receive instruction from Tseng herself.
Golden ticket winners: Pat Hurst, Alison Walshe and Grace Park punched their "Ticket to CME Group Titleholders" at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship, each earning a spot in the season-ending CME Group Titleholders event, which will be held Nov. 17-20, 2011 at Grand Cypress Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The inaugural CME Group Titleholders, a season finale with a field made up of three qualifiers from every LPGA Tour tournament, is a format never previously used in professional golf.
Of note… Morgan Pressel shot the round of the tournament on Sunday with a seven-under par 65 to finish in a tie for fifth. Last week's winner Na Yeon Choi finished the tournament in a tie for 29th.
Yani Tseng, Rolex Rankings No. 1
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations. How do you feel?
YANI TSENG: So exciting, especially winning this tournament in front of all the big crowd from Taiwan. I was really, really appreciated them coming today. It was a really, really huge crowd and all the people, I think all the players and all the people from the other country very enjoy this week.
Actually, like before I come to this tournament, I always try to do my best to win in this tournament because this is the tournament I really, really want. It's the first time in Taiwan and I just finally I did it.
Q. Where does this rank among your wins?
YANI TSENG: I think it's the biggest, yeah.
Q. Your grandmother was there?
YANI TSENG: Yeah. My grandmother was on 18 hole. Yesterday my mom told me grandma is going to go see you tomorrow. I was like no, no, no, there's too many people. I'm like of course. It's going to be crazy. If you want to come, just stay on the 18th hole. I was very happy to see her because she never take airplane to go to the other country, never in her life. So she always watch in front of TV and now she can see real me play on the 18 hole. So I was really, really emotional and very happy and like very want it.
Q. What do you hope this week accomplishes in terms of growing the game here in Taiwan?
YANI TSENG: Yeah. I really see ‑‑ like before my ‑‑ I just really surprised how many people are here just supporting this tournament, supporting the golf because like I say, at first golf is not as popular like baseball, basketball here but now seems like we're growing it a lot and I'm really happy to see this, and I wish in the future there will be more people and more people playing. But it's not just about golf. It's all the sports in Taiwan.
Q. Is that why you gave money to the association?
YANI TSENG: Yeah. I gave a hundred grand to the golf association to ‑‑
Q. To try and develop?
YANI TSENG: To try and develop ‑‑ oh, yeah.
Q. To try and develop young talent.
YANI TSENG: Yes. To help juniors, and they have ‑‑ to help juniors. Yeah. To help juniors.
Q. Would you say this is mentally the strongest week of your life? I mean was this the most pressure that you've felt to win this today, you had a two‑shot lead?
YANI TSENG: Yeah. Before the tournament I do. When it's during the tournament, it's all the same. But like huge pressure before the tournament. I don't have good sleep, and I was feeling lots of pressure, and just incredible. But when the tournament is coming I feel very relaxed.
Q. What about you've won now two of the last three weeks, I think it is.
YANI TSENG: Yeah.
Q. What about your game do you feel like is elevated in year?
YANI TSENG: Oh, I play very, very good. Even today I had bogey free, and I just ‑‑ I don't know. It's incredible. I wish this year would never end. I wish I could win more tournaments. I have two tournaments left, and then I will do my best and I'm really happy what I did this year, and so keep learning and get some more experience and try to make more history.
Q. What do you still need to learn? Seems like you know everything.
YANI TSENG: Yes. But you can always get better and always improve. If you shot 6‑under you can always shoot 8‑under, 7‑under. You can always get better.