Tseng can complete career grand slam at U.S. Women's Open

By Associated PressJuly 4, 2012, 7:50 pm

KOHLER, Wis. – Yani Tseng fondly remembers attending the U.S. Women's Open as a fan when she was 13, down to autographs and free snacks. Should Tseng win at Blackwolf Run this week, she'll get a taste of fame only a handful of players have sampled before.

With a victory in the U.S. Women's Open, the 23-year-old native of Taiwan would become the youngest women's player ever to complete a career Grand Slam of victories in each major tournament. She'd even one-up Tiger Woods, who didn't win all four majors on the men's side until he was 24.

But after winning three times on the LPGA Tour earlier this year, Tseng is struggling going into Thursday's first round at the challenging 6,944-yard, par-72 course in central Wisconsin. And Tseng acknowledges that completing the career slam is on her mind.

''Yes, of course,'' Tseng said. ''It's hard to not think about, because everybody is talking about it. But like I say, I'm not worried about what's my result this week, because (I'm) just going to have fun.''

Karrie Webb is the youngest women's player to complete a career Grand Slam, winning the LPGA Championship in 2001 to complete the feat at age 26.

On the men's side, Woods was 24 when he won the 2000 British Open to become the youngest player to complete the career Grand Slam.

Tseng's best U.S. Open finish was 10th at Oakmont in 2010. But her best memory at the tournament came as a 13-year-old fan, when she was part of a small group of young Taiwanese players who watched Juli Inkster win in 2002. She remembers getting players' autographs on a flag.

''When you're a junior, you can get (a) hot dog and soft drink and free ticket to come in here,'' Tseng said. ''It was so much fun.''

In a way, Tseng said her experience at the U.S. Open as a fan adds to the pressure she puts on herself as a player.

''So every year when I come to the U.S. Open I always feel more nerves and more pressure on this tournament,'' Tseng said. ''When I was 13 my dream was playing the U.S. Open. Now I'm trying to think (about) winning the U.S. Open. It's a very big step for me to think this way.''

Those thoughts come despite a recent rough patch in Tseng's game.

She got off to a roaring start this season, winning three of her first eight tournaments and finishing in the top 10 in all eight.

But in her three most recent tournaments, Tseng finished 12th, 59th, then missed the cut. She has failed to break par in two straight tournaments.

Tseng actually saw a positive in missing the cut.

''I think it's good for me - give me a little break and take a rest,'' she said.

Tseng said her struggles are mostly mental, and not necessarily caused by any issues with the mechanics of her swing.

''Sometimes when I start on tee I still worry about if my ball is going to hit right or left,'' she said. ''But I feel good this week, actually. I feel very good. I feel very peaceful, and thankful for playing the Open.''

Asked about Tseng's recent struggles, Inkster said today's players face more pressure at an early age.

''Yani, she takes her golf game personally,'' Inkster said. ''She wants to succeed. She wants to be the best. But that's the case with the social media these days. I mean, when I won my U.S. Amateurs back in '80, I think people found out the next week - by Pony Express, I think it was. So nowadays, top players, they are scrutinized for everything. Whether that's right or wrong, it's just the way it is. Yani is young, and I think sometimes it's hard to take.''

But Inkster figures Tseng will get it figured out sooner rather than later.

''She's a great player,'' Inkster said. ''She cares about the LPGA. She wants to do things right. Her bad game is still probably 90 percent better than most of the girls out here. So she's going to be just fine. She's got to just go out there and relax and play her game.''

Despite her recent struggles, Tseng said she was excited for the Open to start.

''It's just a wonderful experience when you step on the first tee and they announce your name, where you're from, where's your country,'' she said. ''It just feels very different than other tournaments.''

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Players winner to get 3-year exemption into PGA

By Rex HoggardFebruary 21, 2018, 8:01 pm

Although The Players isn’t golf’s fifth major, it received a boost in that direction this week.

The PGA of America has adjusted its criteria for eligibility into the PGA Championship, extending an exemption for the winner of The Players to three years.

According to an official with the PGA of America, the association felt the winner of The Players deserved more than a single-year exemption, which had been the case, and the move is consistent with how the PGA Tour’s annual flagship event is treated by the other majors.

Winners of The Players were already exempt for three years into the Masters, U.S. Open and The Open Championship.

The change will begin with this year’s PGA Championship.

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Thomas: Playing in front of Tiger even more chaotic

By Randall MellFebruary 21, 2018, 7:52 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Justin Thomas may be going from the frying pan to the fire of Tiger Woods’ pairings.

Translation: He’s going from being grouped with Woods last week in the first two rounds at the Genesis Open to being grouped directly in front of Woods this week at the Honda Classic.

“Which might be even worse than playing with him,” Thomas said Wednesday.

Typically, the pairing in front of Woods deals with a lot of gallery movement, with fans racing ahead to get in position to see Woods’ next shot.

Thomas was quoted after two rounds with Tiger at Riviera saying fans “got a little out of hand,” and saying it’s disappointing some golf fans today think it’s “so amusing to yell and all that stuff while we’re trying to hit shots.”

With 200,000 fans expected this week at the Honda Classic, and with the Goslings Bear Trap pavilion setting a party mood at the 16th green and 17th tee, that portion of the course figures to be quite lively at PGA National.


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Thomas was asked about that.

“I touched on this a little bit last week,” Thomas said. “I think it got blown out of proportion, was just taken out of context, and worded differently than how I said it or meant it.

“I love the fans. The fans are what I hope to have a lot of, what all of us hope to have a lot of. We want them cheering us on. But it's those certain fans that are choosing to yell at the wrong times, or just saying stuff that's completely inappropriate.”

Thomas said it’s more than ill-timed shouts. It’s the nature of some things being said.

“It's one thing if it's just you and I talking, but when you're around kids, when you're around women, when you're around families, or just around people in general, some of the stuff they are saying to us is just extremely inappropriate,” he said. “There’s really no place for it anywhere, especially on a golf course.

“I feel like golf is pretty well known as a classy sport, not that other sports aren't, but it has that reputation.”

Thomas said the nature of the 17th hole at PGA National’s Champion Course makes it a more difficult tee shot than the raucous 16th at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Typically, players like to hear fans get into the action before or after they hit shots. Ill-timed bluster, however, makes a shot like the one at Honda’s 17th even tougher.

“That hole is hard enough,” Thomas said. “I don't need someone yelling in my ear on my backswing that I'm going to hit it in the water, to make it any harder. I hope it gets better, just for the sake of the game. That's not helping anything. That's not helping grow the game.”

Those who follow golf know an ill-timed shout in a player’s backswing is different than anything a fan says at a football, basketball or baseball game. An ill-timed comment in a backswing has a greater effect on the outcome of a competition.

“Just in terms of how much money we're playing for, how many points we're playing for ... this is our jobs out here, and you hate to somehow see something that a fan does, or something that they yell, influence something that affects [a player’s] job,” Thomas said.

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Rory: Phil said RC task force just copied Europe

By Randall MellFebruary 21, 2018, 7:21 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Playing the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am two weeks ago, Rory McIlroy quizzed Phil Mickelson about what the Americans got out of the U.S. Ryder Cup task force’s overhaul.

McIlroy and Mickelson were paired together at Pebble Beach.

“Basically, all they are doing is copying what the Europeans have done,” McIlroy said.  “That's what he said.”

The Europeans claimed their sixth of seven Ryder Cups with their victory at Gleneagles in 2014. That brought about a sea change in the way the United States approached the Ryder Cup. Mickelson called out the tactics in Gleneagles of captain Tom Watson, who was outmaneuvered by European captain Paul McGinley.


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The Americans defeated Europe at Hazeltine two years ago with that new European model.

“He said the first thing they did in that task force was Phil played a video, a 12-minute video of Paul McGinley to all of them,” McIlroy said. “So, they are copying what we do, and it's working for them. It's more cohesive, and the team and the core of that team are more in control of what they are doing, instead of the PGA of America recruiting and someone telling them what to do.”

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 21, 2018, 7:00 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.