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Tseng Secures Seventh Win of the Year
Yani Tseng has proven she can win anywhere this year. The latest, and perhaps sweetest, victory for the 22-year-old came right in her home country after she closed with a 6-under 66 to blow away the field in the inaugural Taiwan Championship.
Starting the final round with a two-shot advantage, Tseng was perfect on Sunday at Sunrise Golf and Country Club, carding four birdies on the front nine that left the other players in her wake and then coming home with two more birdies and the rest pars.
She finished in 16-under 272, five shots ahead of South Korea's Amy Yang (67) and Spain's Azahara Munoz (68).
Her seventh victory of the season - not including three others in Australasia - was worth $300,000, moving her 2011 LPGA Tour winnings to $2,863,629. She donated $100,000 of her earnings to the Taiwan Golf Association to support junior golf.
"I play really, really good today, I was bogey-free," Tseng said. "I wish this year would go on forever so I could win more. But I can always get better."
Her final two birdies came on the par-3 16th and par-5 closing holes. "I could feel victory at the 18th hole, especially with so many fans yelling 'go, go,' " Tseng said. (See below for her full post-round interview.)
Ending up in a tie for fourth at 9-under 279 were Anna Nordqvist of Sweden, who had a 71 Sunday, and American Morgan Pressel, who fired the low round of the 72-hole tournament, a 7-under 65.
For all the scores, visit http://www.lpgascoring.com/public/leaderboard.aspx?TournamentID=27845.
After signing her scorecard, Tseng sat down with reporters for the following Q&A.
MODERATOR: Congratulations. How do you feel?
YANI TSENG: So exciting, especially winning this tournament in front of all the big crowd from Taiwan. I was really, really appreciated them coming today. It was a really, really huge crowd and all the people, I think all the players and all the people from the other country very enjoy this week. Actually, like before I come to this tournament, I always try to do my best to win in this tournament because this is the tournament I really, really want. It's the first time in Taiwan and I just finally I did it.
Q. Where does this rank among your wins?
YANI TSENG: I think it's the biggest, yeah.
Q. Your grandmother was there?
YANI TSENG: Yeah. My grandmother was on 18 hole. Yesterday my mom told me grandma is going to go see you tomorrow. I was like no, no, no, there's too many people. I'm like of course. It's going to be crazy. If you want to come, just stay on the 18th hole. I was very happy to see her because she never take airplane to go to the other country, never in her life. So she always watch in front of TV and now she can see real me play on the 18 hole. So I was really, really emotional and very happy and like very want it.
Q. What do you hope this week accomplishes in terms of growing the game here in Taiwan?
YANI TSENG: Yeah. I really see -- like before my -- I just really surprised how many people are here just supporting this tournament, supporting the golf because like I say, at first golf is not as popular like baseball, basketball here but now seems like we're growing it a lot and I'm really happy to see this, and I wish in the future there will be more people and more people playing. But it's not just about golf. It's all the sports in Taiwan.
Q. Is that why you gave money to the association?
YANI TSENG: Yeah. I gave a hundred grand to the golf association to --
Q. To try and develop?
YANI TSENG: To try and develop -- oh, yeah.
Q. To try and develop young talent.
YANI TSENG: Yes. To help juniors, and they have -- to help juniors. Yeah. To help juniors.
Q. Would you say this is mentally the strongest week of your life? I mean was this the most pressure that you've felt to win this today, you had a two-shot lead?
YANI TSENG: Yeah. Before the tournament I do. When it's during the tournament, it's all the same. But like huge pressure before the tournament. I don't have good sleep, and I was feeling lots of pressure, and just incredible. But when the tournament is coming I feel very relaxed.
Q. What about you've won now two of the last three weeks, I think it is.
YANI TSENG: Yeah.
Q. What about your game do you feel like is elevated in year?
YANI TSENG: Oh, I play very, very good. Even today I had bogey-free, and I just -- I don't know. It's incredible. I wish this year would never end. I wish I could win more tournaments. I have two tournaments left, and then I will do my best and I'm really happy what I did this year, and so keep learning and get some more experience and try to make more history.
Q. What do you still need to learn? Seems like you know everything.
YANI TSENG: Yes. But 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.
The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.