Newsmaker of the Year: No. 4: Yani Tseng

By Randall MellDecember 23, 2011, 1:00 pm

So much separates Yani Tseng in the women’s game today, but nothing quite like her smile.

It’s an easy smile, one of the most natural in golf, but it can also be a most disconcerting smile.

If you’re going up against her, it’s a femme fatale’s smile.

It intimidates and confounds in the heat of competition.

Just ask Na Yeon Choi, the fourth-ranked woman in the Rolex world rankings.

“I can see Yani’s confidence in her routine,” Choi said. “She smiles when she walks to the ball, in her setup. It’s scary.”

What’s scary is how Tseng’s 12 worldwide titles this year made some very talented women feel ordinary. Tseng won seven LPGA titles, two of them majors (Wegmans LPGA Championship, Ricoh Women’s British Open).

“It’s been a very nice year,” Suzann Pettersen said of her three worldwide titles and Solheim Cup starring performance. “But when Yani has won seven events, it makes you feel not so great.”

If Stacy Lewis hadn’t stopped her in the final round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, Tseng would have won three of the four majors this year.

Tseng, who turns 23 on Jan. 23, looks like she’s just getting started. When she seized the Rolex No. 1 ranking for the first time on Feb. 14, she ended a musical-chair rotation atop the world rankings. She has emerged as the game’s newest dominant force, successor to the reigns of Lorena Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam.

Tseng believes the fact that she didn’t get into the No. 1 mix last year fueled her success this year.

“All the great players on the tour, they all give me lots of motivation to become a better player,” Tseng said. “We all push each Other to get better, get better skill and better mentally, because you have to play so good to win a tournament. I just feel like I really improved a lot. All the hard work is paying off.”

This is Tseng’s 45th consecutive week atop the world ranking, and she doesn’t look like she’ll be yielding it anytime soon. She’s doubled the total world ranking point accumulation of No. 2 Pettersen.

Tseng was the LPGA’s player of the year for a second consecutive season. She won the Vare Trophy for low scoring average. She dominated the tour statistically, also finishing as the leading money winner ($2,921,713) and as the longest driver (269.2 yards). She finished second in greens in regulation to Pettersen and fifth in putting.

But here’s what unsettles fellow tour pros most: Unofficially, Tseng led the tour in smiles this year.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: