Talks continue for Tseng, Puerto Rico officials
Discussions between the Puerto Rico Open and Yani Tseng’s camp continue. Sidney Wolf, the tournament’s general chairman, told Golfweek that he spoke Friday with Tseng’s adviser, Ernie Huang. Wolf described the talks as “understanding and positive.”
Tseng said last week that she would be interested in playing in a men’s pro event. Wolf, the Puerto Rico Open's general chairman, followed by offering her a sponsor exemption to the PGA Tour event, which is held opposite the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
Wolf is in Miami for meetings about PGA Tour Latinoamerica and said he is willing to meet with Tseng at Lake Nona, her home course in Orlando, to discuss the exemption. Wolf also said that Chi Chi Rodriguez, the tournament’s ambassador, will reach out to Tseng’s camp.
Golfweek was the first to report the Puerto Rico Open’s invitation to Tseng. Huang seemed hesitant about the invitation when reached by Golfweek earlier this week, saying, “She has more goals to accomplish. ... To play on (the) PGA Tour now will be too much distraction for her.”
Those quotes haven’t deterred Wolf, though. He is also the president of the Puerto Rico Golf Association and has been trying to grow the visibility of his event, which began in 2008. “Having the No. 1 player here would open our event to a broader audience,” he said.
Tseng, the world’s No. 1 female player and winner of 11 events this year, told the China News Agency last week, “If an opportunity presents itself, I would like to play in a PGA tournament to learn more from male golfers.”
The 2012 Puerto Rico Open is scheduled for March 8-11. According to Golfweek research, there is no LPGA event scheduled for that week. The LPGA has yet to release its 2012 schedule.
Tseng competed in Puerto Rico during the 2004 World Amateur Team Championship. She finished fourth in the individual competition, five shots behind Julieta Granada and Karin Sjodin, at Rio Mar Country Club in Rio Grande.