LPGA: Yani Tseng Becomes the Youngest Golfer to Win 5 Major Championships

Karla Villegas Gama@karlitsvFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2011

World number one Yani Tseng came from behind to win the Women's British Open
World number one Yani Tseng came from behind to win the Women's British OpenDavid Cannon/Getty Images

Yani Tseng showed why she's the best golfer in the world; she came from behind to successfully defend her title at the Women's British Open.

Nini, as her friends call her, finished 16 under, four shots ahead of Brittany Lang. More than a trophy, Tseng's feat means she's the youngest player ever to win five major championships.

At 22 years, six months and eight days of age, the Taiwanese golfer accomplished something that Tiger Woods did when he was 24 and that Jack Nicklaus did at age 26. Yani showed the world what she's made of, but also proved she has the game and the mentality to lead women's golf.

Yani is having her breakthrough season and seems like this is just the beginning. She's the only player to have won four LPGA titles this year and, since Lorena Ochoa's retirement, she's the golfer who has been atop the Rolex Rankings for more time.

Ai Miyazato, Jiyai Shin and Cristie Kerr have also been in that position, but haven’t managed to stay there for more than five months, Yani has been up there since February.

Moreover, she’s won four of the last eight LPGA major championships and is the 15th player in tour’s history to win at least five majors.

Tseng joined the LPGA in 2008, and her very first win was, precisely, at a Grand Slam tourney, she won the LPGA championship. Many thought she was just another Asian player who got lucky, but there was something they didn't see: the new women’s golf leader was in the works.

Nini knew there was a lot to work on, especially outside the ropes. She wasn’t a fluent English speaker, which made it difficult to talk to sponsors and media. Learning the language was one of her priorities and a few months later she could sustain a conversation without a problem.

She was fierce and decided to make it right, both, on and off the course. Her hard work paid off fairly quick, fans noticed her proficiency and she became one of the favorite players on tour mainly because of two things: she’s consistent, more than any other golfer nowadays, and she is very nice to people.

The LPGA was in need of a leader, a player who could connect with the fans, but also, who understood her role with media, sponsors and executives. It’s fair to say that, today, they have finally found her.


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