Monday, June 27, 2011

Wegmans LPGA Championship Sunday: Has the Tseng Dynasty Arrived?

Less than a week ago, I suggested it was too soon to tell whether we should consider the Tseng Dynasty (2008-present) as the successor to the Ochoa Era (2003-2009), which itself followed on the Sorenstam Era (1994-2008). (Since my eras overlap, maybe "successor" is the wrong word, but you get the picture.) Now, the day after Ya Ni Tseng fired a final-round 66 at the Wegmans LPGA Championship to match Cristie Kerr's winning total of -19 from last year and take her 4th LPGA major, 8th LPGA tournament, and 5th worldwide title of 2011 (6th if you count a mini-tour event in Taiwan) by 10 shots over Morgan Pressel and 11 over Kerr, Suzann Pettersen, and Paula Creamer, is it any wonder that Jonathan Wall, Average Golfer, Brent Kelley, and Hound Dog are kicking around similar questions? For the record, I still think it's too soon to tell, but, man, what an impressive victory for the 22-year-old!

I mean, when you consider that Creamer was riding a 28-hole bogey-free wave at Locust Hill from Saturday through the front 9 Sunday, Pettersen's was at 26 until she bogeyed her 72nd hole, and Azahara Munoz extended hers to 37 holes before bogeying the par-5 17th yesterday but they all lost ground to Tseng during their runs, well, you know that she was simply untouchable this week. 27 birdies will do that for you! Even though Tseng was nervous on the 1st tee yesterday and made her 5th bogey of the week, she quickly righted the ship with 5 birdies in her next 7 holes. With the tournament in hand, she looked for something to motivate her on the back and decided to go for -20. Although she just missed a 12-footer on 18 to get it, that was about the only thing that didn't go her way this week.

I have so much more to share with you all--notes on 2 of my favorite golfers, In-Kyung Kim and Mika Miyazato, a focus on Amy Yang, interviews with the Futures Tour posse of Tiffany Joh, Pornanong Phatlum, and Cindy LaCrosse (who all got top 25s), and another "Walking with Onechan" feature (this time following Mi Hyun Kim and Ji-Yai Shin)--but it's time to call it a night!

[Update 1 (11:38 am): Here's Stephanie Wei on Ya Ni's dominance.]

[Update 2 (11:49 am): Check out the big-time media coverage from Randall Mell, Steve DiMeglio, Mick Elliott, and the SI guys.]

[Update 3 (6/28/11, 8:29 am): Check out Ruthless Mike's comparison of Ya Ni's stats with the top guys'!]

[Update 4 (6/29/11, 12:06 am): Nice Tseng Dynasty finds on youtube by bangkokbobby, who was the first to coin the phrase that I know of!]

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