Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Switching roles for LPGA's first major, Kraft Nabisco

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Yani Tseng lost the No. 1 ranking in the world to Stacy Lewis three weeks ago, then was booted out of the Kia Classic a few days later when she overslept and missed her pro-am tee time.

Winless in more than a year, the 24-year-old Taiwanese star enters the LPGA Tour's Kraft Nabisco Championship in a far different position and frame of mind than she did last season.

"I'm totally fine," Tseng said Wednesday, a day before the start of play in the first major of the year. "It takes a lot of pressure off. I feel like I don't have to play like world No. 1 anymore. I mean, that gave me a lot of pressure. I think sometimes it feels really good that you can say to yourself that your goal is to be world No. 1. So now world No. 1 gives me a lot of motivation."

Last year, Tseng won three of the first five tournaments of the season and entered the major championship fresh off consecutive victories. She hasn't won since, a drought that has hit 23 events, and has dropped to No. 2 in the world.

"I just want to enjoy the golf," said Tseng, the 2010 Kraft Nabisco Championship winner. "This is a game I loved when I was young, and I just want to play like childlike. I just want to smile on the golf course and show my best to the fans and to the people out there watching me and supporting me."

While Tseng has struggled, Lewis has six victories in her past 24 events. She won four times last season to take the player of the year award and won consecutive titles this year at the HSBC Women's Champions and the LPGA Founders Cup to wrest away the No. 1 spot and the burdens that go with it

"It's been chaos is what it's been," Lewis said. "I think with all the requests and all the attention, I expected it, but it was a little bit overwhelming. I was glad we had a week off last week and just got away and took some time off and really just cleared my head. Coming back this week I feel really relaxed."

Lewis, 28, won the 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship for her first tour title, beating Tseng by three strokes.

New Zealand amateur star Lydia Ko makes her first start in the event. Ko won the Canadian Women's Open last year August to become the youngest tour winner at 15 years, 4 months, 2 days. She has two other victories in pro events, the New South Wales Open last year and the New Zealand Women's Open this year.

"It's really good to be up here," she said. "I played the course a couple times, and it's in really good form."

. fast facts

This week on tour

PGA: Texas Open, TPC San Antonio. TV: Today-Friday, 3 p.m., Golf Channel; Saturday-Sunday, 1 p.m., Golf Channel; 3 p.m., Ch. 8

LPGA: Kraft Nabisco Championship, Rancho Mirage, Calif. TV: Today-Friday, noon; Saturday-Sunday, 5 p.m., Golf Channel

Switching roles for LPGA's first major, Kraft Nabisco 04/03/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 8:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. USF defense feeds on Temple offense to take NCAA interceptions lead

    College

    TAMPA — Backed up in his end zone, Temple quarterback Logan Marchi scrambled, trying to elude a USF defensive end coming straight for him. Until then, Marchi hadn't had much luck hitting his receivers.

    South Florida Bulls safety Devin Abraham (20) sacks Temple Owls quarterback Logan Marchi (12) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, September 21, 2017.
  2. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated

    College

    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  3. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person

    College

    TAMPA

    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry crowd at Raymond James Stadium. Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  4. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    The Rays still talk about having a shot to make the playoffs. But recognizing and correcting mistakes will help them next year, such as Mallex Smith trying to steal third in the first. "Those are the little things we've got to find how to eliminate real quick," manager Kevin Cash said.