September 12, 2011
You can't say Yani Tseng is the Tiger Woods of the LPGA. It's probably even a stretch to compare her to the likes of Annika Sorenstam or Lorena Ochoa in their respective primes, but in a time where it seems nobody can really go any runs, Tseng is the only player out there that seems to continually find that winning touch.
Her latest masterpiece? A playoff win over Amy Yang at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, her fifth win this season and fourth since mid-June, showing that no matter what craziness happens on the current PGA Tour week in and week out, Tseng is the favorite anytime she signs up for an event.
While most wish that the likes of Michelle Wie and Paula Creamer would start collecting wins in bunches, Tseng is the perfect follow-up superstar to Sorenstam and Ochoa. All three players are sneaky long compared to what they look like (this, for example, is a contrast to someone like Lexi Thompson, who just looks like the type of player that can boom 3-irons over 240 yards), and all three have that obvious "it" skill to close out tournaments.
But more than anything else, the easy comparison with Tseng now and the Sorenstams and Ochoas of the past is that when Yani gets near the top of the leaderboard, you know it's hers to take. We used to call that the "Tiger Effect," but honestly, that isn't relevant anymore. Woods can't pull that feat off these days, and with the way Tseng seems to close out events when she needs to, maybe naming it after Yani is the way to go.
How good is she, really? Yani is first on tour in greens in regulation, driving distance, and is third on tour in putting average, basically your near-triple crown in the golfing stat world.
How good is her year if you compared it to someone on the PGA Tour? Yani has won five times in 16 events, meaning she's claimed 31 percent of her starts. If someone like Keegan Bradley was winning at that percentage, he'd have eight titles this year alone.
She's good, and she's only 22. Hopefully, for the sake of golf, she can keep winning at this rate, and bring more and more attention to the LPGA in the upcoming events.