Wednesday, February 23, 2011
The LPGA is in Thailand to open its season, with stars such as Michelle Wie, Paula Creamer, Yani Tseng and Natalie Gulbis filling out the field.
PATTAYA, Thailand – The world’s top-ranked female golfer keeps showing she’s deserving of her title.
It's four wins in four starts for Yani Tseng.
On Sunday, Tseng continued her red-hot tear in 2011 with victory in the Honda LPGA Thailand.
The 22-year-old from Taiwan marked the opening event of the LPGA Tour season with a five-shot triumph over Michelle Wie at Siam Country Club, following back-to-back wins in Australia on the Ladies European Tour. It’s win No. 4, if you count her victory at the Taifong Ladies Open last month on the LPGA of Taiwan.
Tseng led by one stroke over Wie and I.K. Kim going into the final round and had the lowest score of the day, with seven birdies and one bogey, to finish at 15-under 273.
Wie settled for a 70 to finish second at 278. Kim (71) was another stroke back in a tie for third with Karrie Webb (69) at 279. Paula Creamer (71) was fifth at 278.
“I just tried my best, and I know I had lots of confidence,” Tseng said about winning three weeks in a row. “But with all the great golfers out here, you never know until the last putt drops in.”
Kim birdied three of her first six holes to sit tied for the lead with Tseng, and was 13 under after a birdie on the 13th. However, she made a quintuple-bogey 9 on the 17th to fall out of contention, before finishing with a birdie.
Wie also put pressure on Tseng by chipping in for a birdie on the first hole and picking up two more shots on the sixth and seventh. But she didn’t make another birdie the rest of the way and was four shots behind Tseng when she bogeyed the 17th.
“I feel like I played good out there today, but on the back nine I just didn’t make anything,” Wie said. “Yani played fantastic. She played like a rock star out there. She made every single putt and zero mistakes. Congrats to her.”
Tseng will go for a fifth straight victory next week in Singapore.
“I have lots of confidence, and I’m looking forward to next week to see if I can win,” she said. “I feel very excited every week. I just focused on this week. I think to myself, ‘Last week has passed; don’t put pressure on this week.’ Next week is a new week, and I’ll enjoy it.”
Defending champion Ai Miyazato tied for 29th at 4-over 292, 25 shots worse than last year, while 15-year-old Thai amateur Ariya Jutanugarn tied for eighth at 3-under 285.
Associated Press contributed to this report.
Golfweek.com readers: We value your input and welcome your comments, but please be respectful in this forum.