GOLD COAST, Australia — Taiwan’s Yani Tseng has taken over the No. 1 ranking in women’s golf after shooting a final-round 68 to win the Australian Ladies Masters by four strokes.
Tseng, who won last week’s Australian Open at Commonwealth Golf Club in Melbourne, finished Sunday’s Masters at Royal Pines with a 24-under-par total of 264. Australian Nikki Campbell, with a final-round 64, and Stacey Lewis, who shot a 69, were tied for second. Ryann O’Toole was fourth after a 69, six strokes behind Tseng.
The winner of three majors said her goal at the start of the year was to be ranked the best player in the world. She advanced from No. 5 to No. 2 with the Australian Open win and completed the journey at Royal Pines.
The task now, she said, is staying there. Since Lorena Ochoa retired on top in May last year, Jiyai Shin, Ai Miyazato and American Cristie Kerr have assumed and lost the mantle.
“It is so soon,” Tseng said. “I wasn’t expecting it as quickly as this. I still have another 10 months to go. I just need to be very patient and keep working hard.
“I’m very appreciative of the opportunity to play in this tournament since I was an amateur. I have learnt a lot here, coming to play with the best golfers in the world. The first time I came here I told all my friends that one day I want my picture on Champion Drive with all the other winners.”
Former No. 1 Shin of South Korea tied for second last week at the Australian Open but did not play this week.
Seven-time Masters champion Karrie Webb shot a final-round 67 and was eight strokes behind Tseng.
Following up her seven-shot victory in defense of the Australian Open title last week, the 22-year-old Tseng’s tournament total at Royal Pines was just two shots off Webb’s tournament record of 262.
At one stage Tseng’s lead was reduced to just two over Lewis and Campbell after a bogey on the seventh. But Tseng birdied the par-5 ninth and added another at the par-5 12th to all but put the tournament away.
Associated Press contributed to this report.