Matthew faces tough task to stop formidable Tseng
WORLD No 1 Yani Tseng will seek to win one of the few big tournaments she hasn’t yet conquered in her young career when she tees off today in the $1.4million HSBC Women’s Champions.
The 23-year-old from Taiwan dominated women’s golf last year and is off to a strong start in 2012 with a victory at last week’s LPGA Thailand.
But a win in Singapore has eluded her since the tournament began in 2008 and she faces a field of 63 golfers featuring 18 of the world’s top 20 when play starts at the par-72 Tanah Merah Country Club.
“Every year I have come closer and closer to winning this tournament,” said Tseng. “All the best players are playing here this week and the golf course is really challenging, so I can’t wait to go out there.”
Tseng solidified her hold on the No 1 spot with seven LPGA Tour triumphs last year, including major victories in the LPGA Championship and Women’s British Open at Carnoustie. She had 12 worldwide victories in 2011 and the five-times major champion has 33 career worldwide professional wins.
“Winning five majors at the age of 23 is very impressive,” said world No 3 Suzann Pettersen. “She makes us even work harder.”
Australia’s Karrie Webb, who won last year’s tournament, compared Tseng to some of the greatest players in women’s golf history. “I’ve played my career with Annika (Sorenstam), Se Ri Pak and Lorena (Ochoa) and now Yani,” said Webb, who has 38 career LPGA Tour victories. “I’ve played with the best.”
Twelve months ago, Catriona Matthew was the best European in Singapore, the North Berwick player finishing eighth on three-under to secure a cheque for just over $36,000.
Matthew, who won the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico towards the end of last year, will be hoping to figure prominently again, having closed with a 68 to secure a top-25 finish behind Tseng in Thailand.
Michelle Wie, who is also in the field, said after she graduates from Stanford University next month she should have more time to focus on golf. “I’m on track to graduate this March, so it’s going to be interesting,” Wie said. “It’s going to be the first time in my golfing career that I won’t have school, or schoolwork to do.”
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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