Struggling Tseng looks to Sorenstam for support

Yani Tseng reacts to a missed putt on the 16th hole during the second round at the 2012 U.S. Women's Open at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wis. on Friday, July 6, 2012.

KOHLER, Wis. – For Yani Tseng, there are few people in this world with whom she can truly relate. World No. 1’s form a special kind of sorority, and lucky for her a sister, if you will, lives down the street in Orlando, Fla.

Before she left for the LPGA event in Arkansas last week, Tseng dropped in on neighbor Annika Sorenstam in her Lake Nona home.

She had finished T-59 at the Wegmans LPGA Championship and, despite winning three times already this season, was feeling rather low. Sorenstam asked her to count the number of bad rounds she’d had this season. Tseng named six. That’s not too bad, Tseng thought to herself.

Sorenstam then asked a second question: “If you win a U.S. Women’s Open, is it going to change anything?”

Tseng said no.

“I’m still going to be Yani,” Tseng said, smiling. “I think becoming World No. 1 has already changed my life.”

After Tseng struggled in Arkansas, missing the cut for the first time this year, Sorenstam sent another text asking if she was OK. Tseng took it better than expected. Sorenstam who is working in the booth this week for NBC, walked a couple holes with Tseng during Wednesday’s practice round to offer support.

“She said ‘Every time the camera goes on you, I want to see you smile,’ ” Tseng said. “She told me we would celebrate together on Sunday.”

A couple misfires during Round 1 led to a double bogey and a triple, but otherwise she played pretty solid. Tseng managed to stay away from the big numbers on Friday and is 2 over heading into the weekend.

Still plenty of opportunities left to smile.

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