Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Australian Open starts LPGA season

Yani Tseng

Yani Tseng

CANBERRA, Australia — Yani Tseng felt the pressure of being the No. 1 player last season, plus trying to defend 11 tournament titles around the world.

After a six-week break and a weekend off at home to celebrate the Chinese New Year with her family, Tseng is starting at the Women's Australian Open, the first event on the LPGA Tour schedule.

"I was in Taiwan for Chinese New Year last week for a couple of days," Tseng said. "My mum told me last year was a bad year for Dragon, and I was Dragon. So my mum say, 'It's okay, your bad year is over. Your good year is coming this year, the Snake.'

"I go, 'Okay, that's good.' So I'm very excited for this year."

In her first competitive round of the year today, she is grouped with Lydia Ko, 15, an amateur who won the New Zealand Open last week to become the youngest winner on the Ladies European Tour. Also in the group is American Michelle Wie, who makes her Australian debut and looks to make a strong start after missing the cut in 10 of the 23 tournaments last year.

In the other high-profile first-round group at the par-73 Royal Canberra Golf Club, four-time champion Karrie Webb plays alongside 2012 Player of the Year Stacy Lewis of the United States and defending champion Jessica Korda.

Tseng, 24, who has held the No. 1 ranking for two years, finished tied for eighth at the Australian Open last year after winning the two previous seasons. She then won in Thailand as part of a run that contained three titles and eight top-10 finishes.

But things started going wrong for her in May. She didn't win another title and had only three more top 10 finishes, all on the Asian swing late in the season. The struggles shocked her, particularly after a stellar 2011, when she won seven tour titles and four others worldwide.

"I know it's been a tough year for me, but when I look back, I have three wins, I have 12 top 10s, so that's still pretty good," she said Wednesday. "Because all the people are putting high expectation on me, even myself. I've been putting so much pressure on myself."

Lewis had her best year on record, winning four titles and notching 16 top-10 finishes. Attaining the No. 1 ranking is a career goal.

"It's kind of the goal that is in the back of your mind," she said. "You're not thinking about it walking down the first hole. It's one that you're thinking about at the end of the week.

"It's a big goal, and so for me, I have to put little goals before the big one. I'd like to get there. I think it's pretty cool to be able to say that you're No. 1 in the world."

. Fast facts

LPGA season opener

What: Women's Australian Open

When/where: Today-Sunday, Canberra

TV: 12:30 p.m. today-Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Golf Channel

Australian Open starts LPGA season 02/13/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 11:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Volkov hopes to prove his surprise selection right


    RW Alexander Volkov was not a particularly talked-about player in the lead up to the NHL entry draft.

  2. Competition and uncertainty keep New Port Richey's Steve Miklos hooked on power boat racing


    HOLIDAY — If Steve Miklos could have it his way, every power boat race would take place in rough water. He finds the turbulent conditions calming, an attitude he's developed during a professional power boat racing career that spans hundreds of races dating back to 1991.

    Steve Miklos, the throttle man and owner of the No. 51 Sun Print Racing boat, poses at his shop in Holiday. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Did a Cubs player give Trump the middle finger during a White House visit?


    President Donald Trump welcomed former Rays manager Joe Maddon and the World Series champion Chicago Cubs into the Oval Office. But it was a photo that surfaced later that got much of the attention on …

    President Donald Trump welcomed former Rays manager Joe Maddon and the World Series champion Chicago Cubs into the Oval Office. But it was a photo that surfaced later that got much of the attention on social media.
The photo, taken by Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, purportedly shows outfielder Albert Almora Jr. flipping a bird while standing just feet from Trump as the other players were gathered around his desk. [Gordon Wittenmyer via Twitter]
  4. Jeff Vinik contributing $6 million to fund Lightning's practice facility upgrade


    With free agency beginning Saturday, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman will have another selling point in the courting process.

    The plan will create a brand new locker room and training facilities for the team, an 18,000 square foot addition.
  5. Buccaneers defense was among NFL's best when its pressure got to the QB


    It doesn't matter how many times they've thrown a football. It doesn't matter how many seasons they've played. It doesn't matter whether they have a degree from Harvard or Central Florida.

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy recorded 6.5 sacks last season, but many of his other contributions didn't show up in the box scores. [ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times]