Yani Tseng to defend her No. 1 title this week
The China Post news staff with APTAIPEI, Taiwan -- No. 1-ranked female golfer Yani Tseng enters her title defense in the LPGA Founders Cup on a 22-event, 50-week winless streak.
March 15, 2013, 12:06 am TWN
Conversely, third-ranked Stacy Lewis is coming off a victory — her fifth in her last 22 tournaments — two weeks ago in Singapore.
“I just want to have fun and enjoy as much as I can because I know last year I paid too much attention to being No. 1 in the world,” Tseng said. “I feel like I lost some childlike (feeling). I just want to play as a child, and I feel like I lost that enjoyment for playing golf last year.
“You want to have fun out there. You don't want to think about results too much. But you want to try to find the fine line because it's very easy to be too relaxed, it's very easy to have too much pressure. You just want to find the balance.”
Lewis is closing in on the top spot in the world.
“I never expected to be No. 1 in the world, so if I get there one day, I'm going to enjoy the heck out of it because there's no way that kid growing up in a back brace would ever think about being the best golfer in the world,” said Lewis, forced to wear a back brace for six years as a teen because of scoliosis.
Lewis' agent recently asked if there was anything he could do for her.
“I said, 'More time in a day,'” Lewis said. “It's definitely been busy, it's been tough. We've had to unfortunately say no to a lot of things, but for me golf needs to be No. 1 and I need that time to get my practice in then if I have time for other stuff, great.”
Last year at Desert Ridge's Wildfire Golf Club, Tseng won the second of her three 2012 titles, holding off Na Yeon Choi — No. 2 in the world — and Ai Miyazato by a stroke in cold, rain, wind and hail. The Taiwanese star won the Kia Classic the following week at La Costa for 15th LPGA Tour title, then struggled the rest of the season.
“People started asking, 'What's wrong with Yani?'” said Tseng, No. 1 in the world for 109 weeks. “I think that is the time I feel a lot pressure.
“This year, world No. 1 still means a lot for me, but I just don't want to really focus on that. If I lose, it's OK, I just try to get it back. I'm not worried about too much. It's very hard to always be on top, and I think now the LPGA is getting tougher and tougher.”
Tseng and Lewis will open play Thursday in a group with Paula Creamer.