Tseng confident of a good showing at Royal Pines
At the conclusion of the 2011 season, Yani Tseng was so far and away the best player in women’s golf, it wasn’t funny.
The Taiwanese star won 11 times in the season, including a dominant four stroke victory at the Ladies Masters at RACV Royal Pines, and led almost every statistical category on the LPGA as well as the World No.1 ranking by a margin almost double the next best player.
At the time, it appeared only injury or desire could stop her in her tracks but sadly, a little bit of both have consigned the superstar to a forgettable past two years, culminating in a slide from the highest of pinnacles to a current ranking of 43.
However, the still only 25-year old is far from being in despair as she prepared to start her 2014 campaign in the familiar surroundings of the RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast.
“I’m always very happy to be back here, it’s like another hometown.” Tseng said ahead of the 25th Volvik RACV Ladies Masters, “When I was an amateur, I played here and now I’m back again.”
“This is a beautiful city and I’m very happy to be back here, it’s more like a vacation. I’m very lucky to have this opportunity coming back here and playing so I feel very appreciative.”
Her persistent elbow injury is, well, still persistent but having battled with it for many years, Tseng sees little point in complaining.
Most importantly and potentially exciting for fans at Royal Pines this week, the former world number one is actually feeling confident in her game and of an improved showing in 2014.
“I do feel confident; I think I’m almost there. It’s not 100% but it’s good to doubt yourself because it keeps you working harder.”
“This time I know the golf course so I’m not worried too much, I just want to go out there and have fun and do the best I can do and swing the best swing I can swing.”
Of the injury – elbow tricep tendonitis – Tseng says “It’s almost 100% there. I work a lot better and stretch and do ice and a lot of massage so now I feel little pain.”
“I feel my body is good, just have to keep stretching and icing to try and contain my body for as long as I can.”
As a past champion and knowing the golf course as she does, Tseng knows what is expected of her or anyone else with aspirations of finishing on top of the pile this.
It’s ‘birdies or bust’ – especially if light showers that lingered around the Coast during Wednesday’s pro-am continue through the week and gradually soften the golf course.
For fans of the women’s game, the sight of Yani Tseng shooting the lights out is a thing to behold and even more exciting a prospect awaits if both she and crowd favourite Karrie Webb, shooting for her 9th Masters title, can dual for the title this week.
“Everyone on this golf course makes lots of birdies, so this week my goal is to go out and make as many birdies as I can.”
“If I get a bogey that’s fine, just try to do the best I can this week.”
“There are a few tough holes out there but you just need to be patient and try to make birdies on every hole.”