Ya Ni Tseng's bogey-free 71 in the final round of the ISPS HANDA Australian Women's Open wasn't as spectacular as her previous 2 rounds, but by extending her streak from the previous round to 34 holes without a bogey, she not only didn't open the door to any of her pursuers, she locked it, dead-bolted it, put three chains up, and set the security system to "stun." Because that's how just about everyone in the field played. At -16, Tseng finished 7 shots clear of her closest competitors, world #1 Ji-Yai Shin (who uncharacteristically stumbled home in 39), former U.S. Women's Open champion Eun-Hee Ji (whose hopes for her 1st win in what must feel like forever evaporated with a double on the par-5 6th), and England's own Melissa Reid (whose 68 tied Karen Stupples for low round of the day). Besides Reid and Stupples, the only players who can find something to celebrate in being spanked so thoroughly by Tseng are probably Jennifer Song, whose 71 brought her to a solo 5th-place finish, Sandra Gal, the only other player to end up within 10 shots of the lead and whose solo 6th is one of her best finishes in a long time, and Karrie Webb, whose 70 made up 6 shots on fellow Aussie Katherine Hull for a T7 with Cindy LaCrosse. And once she gets over her disappointing final round, I'm sure 13-year-old Lydia Ko will be pretty stoked she tied So Yeon Ryu and Mariajo Uribe for 12th, only 1 shot behind Stupples and Nikki Campbell. Everyone else will probably have to take their moral victories where they can find them, along with lots of lessons for next week at the ANZ RACV Ladies Masters. As for Tseng, she's already excited about coming back next year to try to make it 3 wins in a row! Let's see if she can keep the birdies rolling in on the Gold Coast!
[Update 1 (4:24 pm): Love Mike Southern's "2011 Rolex Brawl for #1" phrase.]
[Update 2 (2/7/11, 1:26 pm): Bangkobobby points out that Tseng did a similar thing last year, winning in Taiwan and Australia before the LPGA season started.]
[Update 3 (2:22 pm): Here's Aussie Golfer on Tseng's win.]