Honda LPGA Thailand 2012
Siam Country Club, Pattaya Old Course
Final-round notes and interviews
February 19, 2012
Yani Tseng -19, Rolex Rankings No. 1
Ai Miyazato -18, Rolex Rankings No. 11
Lexi Thompson -6, Rolex Rankings No. 37
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng successfully defended her title at the Honda LPGA Thailand and captured her first win of the 2012 season. Tseng nearly knocked her 104-yard approach shot in the hole on the par-5 18th and sank the tap-in birdie putt to capture a one-shot victory over the 2010 champion of this event, Ai Miyazato.
Tseng got off to a hot start en route to firing a final-round, 6-under 66. She recorded an eagle on the first hole before tallying birdies on three of her next six holes to go 5-under through her first seven holes. Tseng’s lead was at three when she made the turn but the gap closed down the stretch. Bogeys on the 10th and 13th opened the door for Miyazato and Jiyai Shin to put pressure on the world’s No. 1 player.
And despite falling into a tie for the lead when Shin made birdie on the 17th, Tseng held her composure. She birdied the 17th to regain a one-shot lead and after Miyazato knocked her third shot close on 18 to give herself a putt to tie Tseng, that’s when Tseng hit her impressive approach into the 18th green that pretty much sealed the victory.
“I had a one-shot lead and I was thinking maybe make par and I win,” Tseng said of heading into the final hole. “But after I see Ai hit it so close, I kind of thinking that I have to make birdie to win it. I didn’t know my ball was that close. After I saw that, I was really happy. It wasn’t like two feet and then I would be really nervous. That tap-in putt was great. It feels really good to win here again.”
Feeling the pressure: After Tseng sank her winning putt, she got a little teary-eyed on the 18th green and it was clear that the victory was an emotional one for her.
Tseng was asked in her post-victory press conference if the tears had anything to do with the pressure that she felt to repeat her tremendous 2011 season, when she captured seven wins on the LPGA Tour and a total of 12 victories worldwide.
“Yes, of course,” Tseng said. “I feel much more pressure coming into this year. Last year when I started, I was nothing, I was just in the top 5 in the world but I don’t have 12 wins or World No. 1 title. After last year, I have World No. 1 and I had 12 wins and that pressure keep going on and on. I kind of drive my team crazy. They were thinking I feel so much pressure. So sometimes I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t quite nice to them. They keep telling me, ‘ think you have some pressure, you need to relax yourself’ and we kind of have a team meeting to keep me relaxed and not feeling like I had pressure. So I think my team did a great job and helped a lot through this week. It was just great. I feel really good about that.”
Back-to-back: Tseng’s consecutive wins at the Honda LPGA Thailand in 2011 and 2012 marks the second time in her career that she has successfully defended one of her titles on the LPGA Tour. Last year, Tseng won the RICOH Women’s British Open for the second straight year – having also won that tournament in 2010.
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