Yani Tseng: 5 Reasons Why She's the Most Dominant Golfer in the Planet

Karla Villegas Gama@karlitsvFeatured ColumnistOctober 25, 2011

Yani Tseng: 5 Reasons Why She's the Most Dominant Golfer in the Planet

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    Yani Tseng has already made history. At age 22, the Taiwanese native became the youngest golfer to win five majors, but she's just getting started.

    Women's golf might not grab as much attention as mens does, but it definitively has the most dominant player in the world.

    Nini has taken the spot of Annika Sörenstam and Lorena Ochoa as the sport's newest standard bearer.

The Titles Keep Coming

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    Tseng has had a spectacular season so far. She's won 10 times this year, seven on the LPGA (including a couple of majors), two on the ALPG/LET, and one in the LPGA of Taiwan.

    No other golfer has won as much as Yani in 2011. Luke Donald has four titles, Suzann Pettersen three and Lee Westwood has two.

    The last time a woman won this many tournaments was in 2005, when Annika Sörenstam hoisted 10 LPGA trophies and one from the Ladies European Tour.

    This season, Yani can bag a couple more. She'll be playing the Lorena Ochoa Invitational and the season-ending CME Group Titleholders.

A Major Contender

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    It took five years for a woman to win two majors in one season. In 2006, Anika Sörenstam grabbed the Kraft Nabisco Championship and the U.S. Women's Open. Not even Lorena Ochoa could accomplish the feat.

    Yani secured the Kraft Nabisco Championship and the Women's British Open in 2010, and this season she became the only woman that has successfully defended her Women's British Open title; she also won the LPGA Championship.

    Only Karrie Webb (2000-2001) and Mickey Wright (1961-1963) had won two or more majors in consecutive seasons.

    In the men's division, the last to grab two Grand Slam events in the same season was Padraig Harrington, who in 2008 won The Open Championship and the PGA Championship.

Reigning World No. 1

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    After Lorena Ochoa retired, women's golf didn't have a leader.

    Jiyai Shin, Ai Miyazato and Cristie Kerr battled for the top spot of the Rolex Rankings for almost a year, until Tseng came into the picture.

    Yani secured first place on February 14, 2011, becoming the player who's spent the most weeks atop the rankings (37), since May 2010, when Ochoa left the tour.

    In men's golf, Luke Donald has been the best golfer in the world for 22 weeks.

Room for Improvement

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    Tseng is not just one of the youngsters on tour, she's the boss.

    Regardless of her young age, 22, she has already shown what she's made of. There's always room for improvement and she's not the exception.

    Last week, after winning in front of her home crowd, Tseng said during her press conference that "you can always get better and always improve. If you shot 6‑under you can always shoot 8‑under, 7‑under. You can always get better."

    Next year, Yani has a shot to win the same major for the third time in a row, a record that belongs to Annika Sörenstam, after hoisting the LPGA Championship from 2003 to 2005.

    Regarding money, it's Lorena Ochoa who owns the record. In 2007, the Mexican earned $4,364,994.

    Another achievement she can break is most wins in a single season. She currently has seven and the record belongs to Mickey Wright, who secured 13 titles in 1963.

Awards and Stats

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    Yani is part of an elite group of women who have been named Rookie of the Year, as well as Player of the year, at least once on the LPGA. The list includes Patty Sheehan, JoAnne Carner, Nancy Lopez, Beth Daniel, Karrie Webb, Annika Sörenstam and Lorena Ochoa.

    Furthermore, she's just the eighth player to have secured back-to-back Player of the Year awards, along with Kathy Whitworth, Judy Rankin, Nancy Lopez, JoAnne Carner, Annika Sörenstam, Karrie Webb and Lorena Ochoa.

    In both cases, she's the first Asian player to accomplish the feat and, of course, the only Taiwanese, male or female to do so.

    This season, Yani leads several stats, such as birdies (333), rounds under par (51/69), rounds in the 60s (36/69), top 10 finishes (13/20), scoring average (69.38), driving average (267.9) and money earnings (2,873,629).