Next Up for Tseng, Webb on the LPGA Tour: RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida, Feb. 28, 2011 - Yani Tseng strengthened her hold atop the Rolex Rankings with a tie for third finish at the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore Sunday. The twenty-two year old from Taiwan closed with a final-round 67 to finish three strokes behind winner Karrie Webb, who captured her 37th career LPGA victory. Tseng was attempting to capture back-to-back LPGA victories and her fourth consecutive title world-wide.
Arguably the hottest player on the planet, over the last 11 months, Tseng has won four times on the LPGA Tour, including twice at major championships - the 2010 Kraft Nabisco Championship and the 2010 RICOH Women's British Open - and another three times internationally. After two events on the LPGA Tour in 2011, Tseng holds the early lead for the LPGA Official money list title and Vare Trophy, and she is tied with Webb for Rolex Player of the Year honors.
Entering championship Sunday in Singapore, Webb trailed Japan's Chie Arimura by one. A back-nine rally lifted the LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member to a final-round 69 and a one-stroke victory. The win was Webb's 37th in a highly decorated career which includes seven major championships, three LPGA money titles, three Vare Trophies and two Rolex Player of the Year awards.
The win also lifted Webb to No. 10 in the Rolex Rankings. Webb also is the youngest player in LPGA history to achieve the Career Grand Slam, a record that Tseng is chasing. Tseng needs only to win the U.S. Women's Open to complete the Grand Slam. Tseng is 22. Webb was 26 when she accomplished the feat.
"When I was younger, I watched Karrie playing golf all the time," said Tseng after her final round in Singapore, "and then the first time played with Karrie, I was so nervous… she shot 62, so I never forgot."
Both Tseng and Webb will next compete with a host of other top-ranked players at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup to be played at Wildfire Golf Club at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa March 18-20. Webb was the last LPGA player to hoist a trophy in Phoenix when she won the 2009 Safeway Classic at Superstition Mountain. The RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup will kick start a three-week stretch in the United States, culminating in the year's first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, where Tseng is the defending champion.
Tseng ascended to the No. 1 position on the Rolex Rankings after capturing two events in Australia co-sanctioned by the ALPG (Australian Ladies Professional Golf) and LET (Ladies European Tour). A week later, Tseng won the season-opening Honda LPGA Thailand on the LPGA Tour. While Tseng makes a case to become the game's next dominant player, several others look to get back in the mix for the race for No. 1, including former world No. 1's Jiyai Shin, Cristie Kerr and Ai Miyazato.
After a compelling start to the LPGA season, the top-10 players in the Rolex Rankings are the following: No. 1 Tseng, No. 2 Jiyai Shin, No. 3 Na Yeon Choi, No. 4 Suzann Pettersen, No. 5 Cristie Kerr, No. 6 Ai Miyazato, No. 7 I.K. Kim, No. 8 Michelle Wie, No. 9 Sun Ju Ahn, No. 10 Karrie Webb.