Sunday, February 20, 2011

Honda LPGA Thailand Sunday: Ya Ni Tseng Dominates for 4th Win in a Row

Ya Ni Tseng, the Taiwanese Tsunami, hit Taiwan this week and walked away with her 4th victory in 4 worldwide starts this season. A Sunday 66 left her 5 shots ahead of Michelle Wie and 6 shots ahead of In-Kyung Kim and Karrie Webb at the close of the Honda LPGA Thailand. I'll let Brent Kelley give you the overview, Hound Dog the play-by-play, and bangkokbobby the details of Kim's disaster on the 71st hole. Until I see the Golf Channel coverage, I'll just note a few things:

(1) Tseng did to Kim and Wie in the final round what she did to the Final Round Queen, Ji-Yai Shin, and a resurgent Eun-Hee Ji in the Aussie Women's Open a couple of Sundays ago. Make some of the hottest golfers on the planet melt like icicles in a mid-February western NY warming spell.

(2) How on was Tseng? She finished 32 shots ahead of Gwladys Nocera, 29 ahead of Hee Young Park, 27 ahead of Christina Kim, Lee-Anne Pace, and Jennifer Song, 26 ahead of Azahara Munoz and Jessica Korda, 25 ahead of Seon Hwa Lee and Sophie Gustafson, 24 ahead of Song-Hee Kim and Brittany Lang, 22 ahead of Inbee Park and Amanda Blumenherst, 21 ahead of Morgan Pressel and Shanshan Feng, 20 ahead of Ji-Yai Shin, Se Ri Pak, and Hee Won Han, and 19 ahead of Ai Miyazato, Angela Stanford, and Kristy McPherson. There's not a bad or even mid-level golfer in that bunch. All of them are either already ranked near the top of the world, have been recently, or have the potential to get there.

(3) OK, so the group who got lapped can rightly claim they played badly. But what about Tseng's top rivals who didn't play their best, but didn't come close to playing their worst? Well, Paula Creamer was 7 back, Suzann Pettersen 12, Na Yeon Choi 15, and Cristie Kerr 16.

(4) So the obvious question is, can Ya Ni make it 5-for-5 in 2011 next week at the HSBC Women's Champions?

[Update 1 (2/21/11, 5:16 am): Jason Sobel wonders how many players have ever gone 5-for-5 in events they've entered.]

[Update 2 (2/21/11, 3:33 pm): Here's Ryan Ballengee with the run-down of Wie's win.]

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