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Yani Tseng throws out first pitch before NY Mets game

NEW YORK--World No. 1 golfer Yani Tseng was thrilled to have had the chance to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Citi Field before a New York Mets game Monday but was not terribly happy with the result.

“I was really excited to throw out the first ball. I just regret that after practicing for a while, the ball I threw was still off target,” said Tseng, who was invited to the game as part of Taiwan Heritage Night festivities.

Having played on many pressure-packed stages as the world's top female golfer, Tseng said she gained a new appreciation for the challenge baseball pitchers face.

“I can sense now how nervous Chien-Ming Wang must feel when he is on the mound and how good a pitcher he is,” she said.

Tseng made a rare trip to New York in between tournaments hoping to see New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin and the Washington Nationals Wang in action, but was disappointed because both athletes were sidelined with injuries.

She wished both a speedy recovery, but said making a full recovery was really difficult and required daily therapy, icing, and stretching as well as the need to overcome mental barriers to be fully confident when returning to action.

Tseng said she was very proud of Wang and Lin because of their good performances and voiced her support for them not as the world's No. 1 golfer but as a Taiwanese because “I'm just another sports fan.”

“As long as there are Taiwanese players, I'll come to cheer them on,” Tseng said.

At Taiwan Heritage Night, Tseng was a popular draw herself, shaking hands with and signing autographs for hundreds of fans, many of whom were carrying Republic of China (Taiwan) national flags and baseball caps. One fan even asked Tseng to sign a NT$100 bill.

Meanwhile, Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Monday that Wang is recovering well but will probably have to practice in the bullpen a few more times before returning to the mound.

Johnson said there was no timetable for his return but noted that the team was watching him closely.

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A fan of Taiwan female champion golfer Tseng Yani yesterday fondly examines Tseng's autograph on her NT$100 note. Tseng, the world's No. 1 female golfer, threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Citi Field before a New York Mets on Monday, April 9, as part of Taiwan Heritage Night festivities.

(CNA)

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