September 13, 2011
Welcome to Teeing Off, where Devil Ball editor Jay Busbee and head writer Shane Bacon take a day's topic and smack it all over the course. Suggest a future topic by writing firstname.lastname@example.org, or hit us on Twitter at @jaybusbee and @shanebacon. Today, we chat it up about the LPGA's Yani Tseng, and if her dominance is actually good for the LPGA and golf itself.
Bacon: Yani Tseng notched her fifth win of the year this past weekend in Arkansas. She's won two majors this year and 31 percent of her tournament starts, but my question, is that a good thing? Does the LPGA need a star like Yani, that most might not have heard much of, or is it better to have random winners like the PGA Tour has this season?
Busbee: You gotta start somewhere. Golf fans won't automatically embrace just any winner, but the more that winner gets his/her name in front of the public, the more likely it is that something about her's going to break through and click with people. Will it happen with Yani? Who knows, but anyone who considers themselves a true fan of golf owes it to the game to check out what she's doing right now. I won't use the T-word, not yet, but this is some lofty territory she's traveling.
Bacon: I think those are very valid points. We need to love the person, but we also need to trust their longevity. For every Tiger Woods (yep, I did it), we've had 400 guys that we thought would be great, and tried to get behind, so maybe waiting a little is a smart move to make sure she will be around for a while. I mean, I loved Lorena Ochoa, but it seemed she was around just long enough to make us care, and then retired. While I don't see that with Yani, I can understand the hesitation getting behind the latest and greatest product of the LPGA.
Busbee: I know you loved Lorena. I can see it in your eyes when you talk about her. She hurt you badly, didn't she? But there'll be another, Shane. There'll always be another. Wait, where were we? Oh yeah, Yani. If she can continue to win, she'll get plenty of acclaim, but she'll also need to do the publicity dance -- the interviews, the commercials, the whole routine -- to break through the wall of sameness that surrounds all sports. Viral video, Yani -- do it!
Bacon: Golf Girls 2, the Return of the Yani? I love it. But seriously, maybe it's just impossible to create a personality. Maybe the only ones that last are the people like Shaq and Boo Weekley, who are just full of zaniness and they're easy to laugh at. Is that what we need? A Boo Weekley-type that wins?
Busbee: Somehow, for a woman to break through big she's got to have the right combination of talent, energy, sexiness (sorry, ladies, it's true) and charisma. It's possible, it's going to happen, but it can't be forced. Still, Yani's on her way, and we probably all ought to pay a little more attention to her.
Now your thoughts ... is Yani's recent run good for the LPGA?