Yani Tseng plays with a smile
PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- To paraphrase the old adage, Yani Tseng has learned that if you smile, the world smiles with you. If you cry, it might really affect your golf game.
In other words, when she's disappointed by her results, she's figured out it's best to get over it as quickly as possible. Don't dwell on what went wrong, don't stress out in an impossible pursuit of perfection.
Tseng is the No. 1 player in women's golf, and at age 23 already has won 15 LPGA titles, five of them majors. But her three titles this year came in February and March. So we're looking at a "drought" of a little over two months.
No big deal, right? Exactly. Tseng's top finish since she won the Kia Classic on March 25 is third, which she did at the Kraft Nabisco Championship the following week. She has only played three times since then, finishing tied for 10th, tied for ninth and tied for 12th. In other words, even when she's not quite knocking on the door to win, she's still on the front porch.
"It's hard to play perfect," Tseng said Wednesday on the eve of the LPGA Championship, where she is defending her 2011 title. "You just need to give your 100 percent and do the best you can."
When Tseng fell short at the Kraft Nabisco, the season's first major, she didn't let her demeanor on the course change.
"I smiled all the way and kept my chin up," she said. "I didn't let myself down."
Tseng is one of the more "sunny" players on tour in terms of disposition, and it's been her goal for that to stay steady even if she isn't playing quite as well as she wants.
As for defending here at Locust Hill Country Club, Tseng expects it to be a challenge.
"I think [the course] is much tougher than last year," Tseng said. "The rough is very thick. This is not a really long course, but you've got to keep it in the fairway."
A world of promise for Munoz
It's been a steady climb for Spain's Azahara Munoz since she turned pro in 2009. The former Arizona State star, winner of the 2008 NCAA individual title, was the LPGA tour's rookie of the year in 2010. Last year, she was a strong contributor with a 2-1-1 record as Europe won the Solheim Cup against the United States.
And last month, she got her first LPGA victory at the Sybase Match Play Championship. Her best finish in a major was a tie for eighth last year here at the LPGA Championship, so she knows how to play this course.
"Getting my first win was amazing," Munoz said of the Sybase. "And then last week, I had another really good week [finishing tied for third]. I'm really happy where my game is at right now."
Getting a 'handle' on the LPGA
You kind of expect the teens and 20-somethings of the LPGA tour to be all about Twitter. But 31-year-old Suzann Pettersen is hardly out of the loop in that regard.
Asked about the LPGA's move of putting Twitter "handles" on the bibs of the players' caddies, Pettersen said, "It's about time. It's so simple, why hasn't someone come up with that before?
"I think it's great. If you are good at Twitter, you pretty much get the entire news picture through Twitter. I think I'm pretty much covered on whatever happens around the world just looking at my phone."