Yani Tseng grabs another trophy
Remember the old real estate axiom "Location, location, location" as the starting point for every smart purchase?
Yani Tseng, the world's No. 1-ranked women's golfer, had a slightly different guideline two years ago when selecting a charming residence in Orlando's gated Lake Nona community as her first home: "Motivation, motivation, motivation."
It seems that Tseng, a 22-year-old from Taiwan, wants to follow in LPGA great Annika Sorenstam's footsteps. So she is -- literally.
When Sorenstam put her Lake Nona home on the market in 2009, Tseng quickly made an offer on the property her role model owned during a career that produced 72 tour wins.
"Every time I go back to the house I see the empty trophy case, and I'm not happy about that," Tseng said. "So I try to fill it more and more."
Only 65 more to go after Tseng fired a final-round 68 Sunday in the State Farm Classic in Springfield, Ill., to finish 21 under for a 3-shot win.
"I was thinking I want to bring my amateur trophies and put them in there first," Tseng said. "But you know, here's another one."
The only thing Tseng may need now is patience, because by all indications she has the game to be a worthy caretaker of Sorenstam's display case.
Sorenstam did not join the LPGA until she was 23, whereas Tseng already has seven LPGA titles one year younger. Sunday's victory at Panther Lake Country Club was Tseng's second LPGA title this season and her fifth victory worldwide. Tseng also has three major championships, including last year's Kraft Nabisco, one of three wins in 2010.
"No. 1 in the world is my goal for this year," she said. "I've been doing pretty good, so now I don't think about it anymore, because we have so many great players on the LPGA. Everybody is a great competitor. You never know who is going to win the tournament. We have to keep working hard, because if you just stop there, everybody is going to catch you very soon. So those players push me harder, and I push them harder."
No. 2 and holding
It's hard to do a whole lot better than Cristie Kerr has in three straight events, but she's not finding much satisfaction in the accomplishment.
Kerr recorded her third straight runner-up finish Sunday, shooting a final-round 67 to finish 18 under and 3 shots back.
Three weeks ago, Kerr lost to Suzann Pettersen in the finals of the Sybase Match Play Championship. Last week she finished one shot behind Brittany Lincicome in the ShopRite Classic.
Kerr now has six top-10 finishes in nine tournaments this season, five of which were top-five finishes.
"The margin between finishing second three times and winning three times is very small," Kerr said. "I mean, it's as small as it gets in the game. I've just got to keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully get a putt or two more a tournament to drop, and then it's a different ballgame."
To no great surprise, Kerr is No. 2 in this week's world rankings.
Shot of the week
Jiyai Shin's 8-iron on the 135-yard, par-3 second hole during Friday's second round went in the hole.
It was her first hole-in-one in LPGA competition and came a day after she birdied the same hole by sinking a 50-foot putt.
"So this is my favorite hole," she said.
It's a tough call
Mindy Kim, who finished tied for fifth Sunday for her fourth top-10 of the year, was born in South Korea but has lived in the United States since she was 6. She has spent most of that time in California, where she has embraced the lifestyle.
That often leads to inquiries regarding how the 21-year-old views herself.
"That's a tough question, because I don't want to, you know ... I guess I'm Korean-American," she said. "I mean, I think more as an American in the culture sense, because my parents always nag on me saying, 'You're not Korean enough.' I try to think what my parents think, but it's kind of hard. So I think as an American, but I look Korean."
Lincicome, who tied for third with Paula Creamer after winning last week's ShopRite, agreed to wear a live mike for Golf Channel during first-round play. It's not the first time Lincicome has allowed television to listen in, and if asked, she probably will do it again.
"Fans get to see a side of me that they might not have known, so it works great both ways," she said. "It was great. It was great exposure for me."
All the same, transparency has its drawbacks.
"It's just different," Lincicome said. "Obviously, you know in the back of your mind it's there. I mean, I don't really cuss a lot on the golf course, so I wasn't too worried about that. But even conversations -- if you're talking about somebody who they might know and it's another girl on tour, you're like, 'Oh, gosh.' You've got to be somewhat censored."
See to believe
Apparently, Golf Channel's mike was not the only challenge Lincicome encountered at Panther Creek Country Club.
Darn those pesky gnats.
"They like to go right for your eyes," Lincicome said. "I'm not sure if they are attracted to my eyelashes or what, but they always seem to get stuck in my eyelashes and my eyes."
LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame member Se Ri Pak recorded her best finish of the 2011 season, finishing in a tie for fifth at 15 under par. Her previous best finish was a tie for 10th at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. ... Vicky Hurst shot the low round of the day Sunday with a 6-under 66 to move from a tie for 47th to a tie for 19th.
By the numbers
• 0: Bogeys by winner Yani Tseng in her final two rounds of play.
• 1: Final-round score by Tseng this year not in the 60s.
• 5: Consecutive rounds in the 60s by Brittany Lincicome before the streak ended Sunday with a 70.