Five reasons why Yani Tseng is No. 1, according to her swing coach Gary Gilchrist.
1) She’s on cruise control
Gilchrist hasn’t talked to Tseng since she left the continent. She has won four times around the globe, including a five-stroke victory Sunday at the LPGA’s season opener in Thailand. “I just keep sending her congratulatory e-mails every week,” said Gilchrist. Really, there’s nothing more to say.
2) Plan to win
At the start of the New Year, Yani called her team together for a meeting. “Our goal was to win two European events and no majors to become No. 1 in the world,” said Gilchrist, mockingly. Tseng, of course, won two majors last year, plus an LPGA event in Arkansas, and finished the season No. 5 in the world. Two Australian victories later, she rose to No. 1. Funny how those rankings work.
3) OK, the real goal
Actually, Tseng’s goal was to put herself in contention more in regular-season LPGA events. To get there, the team talked about how to keep her consistent throughout the year in fitness, nutrition, rest and emotional balance. Gilchrist points to last year’s U.S. Women’s Open, where she rebounded to finish 10th despite a second-round 76, as a benchmark for Tseng learning how to harness her emotions when “nothing was going for her.”
4) Explosive power/sharp short game
Everyone knows Tseng’s one of the most powerful players in the women’s game. Gilchrist has helped her unleash that power, particularly on par 5s, by making sure her body doesn’t get ahead of the ball through impact and that her clubface stays square.
Most importantly, he said, they work on her putting position: “Her tendency is to get the putter shut.”
5) She’s loving life.
Tseng is a people person. Gilchrist appreciates that Tseng doesn’t breathe golf 24/7. He gives her Orlando Magic tickets when she’s in town and encourages her to make sure she’s living a balanced, social life off the golf course. These days, she has plenty to celebrate.