A winning argument

By Randall MellNovember 16, 2011, 9:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Yani Tseng’s winning streak goes beyond the impressive numbers.

Tseng said Wednesday that one of the benefits of her improved English is her ability to win arguments with her English-speaking coach and caddie. She said it with a playful smile. It’s a smile that accompanies a sense of humor the native of Taiwan is more easily sharing with American galleries now.

“I’ve been working on my English, same as my golf,” Tseng said on the eve of the season-ending CME Group Titleholders Championship at Grand Cypress Resort. “I remember, four years ago, sitting here, probably saying nothing, but now I can talk more, tell my story, my goals. It’s not just good for me. It’s good for everybody.”

Tseng will tee it up at Thursday’s start of the CME Group Titleholders looking to win her 12th worldwide title and eighth LPGA title this year. Her run as the Rolex World No. 1 has reached 40 consecutive weeks, and she’s already locked up the Rolex Player of the Year title for the second consecutive year. She has also clinched her first Vare Trophy for low scoring average.

Through her rocket-like ascent, Tseng, 22, is winning more than tournaments. She is winning respect for her hard work in trying to connect better with American audiences. She has a home at Lake Nona in Orlando, Fla., but she wasn’t always comfortable expressing herself to American friends. Folks closest to her believe improved English skills have helped her adapt to the demands of being the No. 1 player in the world with so much of her time spent in the United States.

Tseng’s teasing nature, her sense of humor, comes out more easily now. English, she cracks, has helped her win more.

“I can speak better with my coach and my caddie, and now we can fight,” Tseng said. “Before, when we fought, I always lost, but now, with my English, I can fight with them. I can tell my side. I can tell them what I’m thinking.”

Gary Gilchrist, Tseng’s coach, believes improved English makes Tseng a healthier player because she’s able to be herself, even among English-speaking friends.

Her advisor, Ernie Huang, says Tseng is an outgoing personality. Connecting with people is important to her.

“I told Yani I would hire her an English tutor last year, but she didn’t want a tutor,” Huang said. “She wanted to be in a classroom with other students. Her purpose wasn’t just learning English. She liked the atmosphere of being in school. She enjoys interacting. It’s part of her personality. She’s a fun-loving kid.

“There’s confidence in that. When she first came here, she didn’t speak much English. She used her smile, her body language, to express herself.”

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan likes the personality Tseng’s communicating to a growing fan base.

“If you ask the No. 1 player in the world how she is good, she’ll say, `Because I stay happy on the golf course,’” Whan said. “I don’t know how she does that. She focuses on positive stuff. What a great message for everybody, including the commissioner, to follow.”

Tseng’s message gets communicated beyond golf shots now among English speaking audiences.

Rose (62) sets blistering pace in Indonesia

By Associated PressDecember 14, 2017, 3:06 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Justin Rose shot a 10-under 62 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, starting on the back nine at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, had five birdies to go out in 31, then birdied four of five holes midway through his final nine and another birdie on his last hole in the $750,000 tournament.

Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters

Gunn Charoenkul (64) was in second place and Kim Giwhan and Phachara Khongwatmai (both 65) were tied for third.

Brandt Snedeker shot 72. Ranked 51st in the world, the American is aiming for a strong finish in Jakarta to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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LaCava: Woods wouldn't talk after H.O.R.S.E. match

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 2:27 pm

The competitive streak within Tiger Woods knows no bounds - even on the basketball court, according to caddie Joe LaCava.

LaCava has been on Woods' bag since 2011, and he recently shared a story on "Inside the Ropes" on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio about a clash between the two men over a seemingly friendly game of H.O.R.S.E. Actually, it turned into nine straight games (and nine straight wins) for LaCava, who exploited a weakness in Woods' on-court strategy while leaning on a mid-length jumper of his own:

"The thing with him was if I missed a shot, which I missed plenty of shots, but if I missed the shot he'd go back down to the 3 (point line) because he liked to make the 3," LaCava said. "But it's harder obviously to make a 3, and I'd go right back to the baseline 12-footer, and he couldn't make it."

It's a short list of people who have beaten Woods nine times in any athletic pursuit, let alone in a row. But for LaCava, the fallout from his afternoon of on-court dominance was less than subtle.

"He did not talk to me the rest of the day," LaCava explained. "I didn't even get the old text, 'Dinner is ready,' because I stay across at the beach house. I didn't even get that text that night. I had to get take-out. He didn't announce he wasn't (talking), he just did it. I'm telling you, nine games in a row. Like I said, he's so competitive, even at something like that."

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 3, Tiger Woods

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:45 pm

After returning to competition at the Hero World Challenge in December 2016, Woods started the new year with an ambitious slate of tournament starts as he eyed his first full season since 2013. But he made it only three rounds, looking rusty en route to a missed cut at Torrey Pines before withdrawing abruptly in Dubai.

The “spasms” that led to that withdrawal turned out to be something far more serious, as Woods underwent his fourth and most invasive back surgery in April, a lumbar fusion. It brought with it an extensive rehabilitation, and at the Presidents Cup in September Woods humored the prospect that he might never again play competitive golf.

At Liberty National he also faced some scrutiny for an off-course incident from months prior. In May he was arrested for suspicion of DUI, an incident that produced a startling roadside video of an intoxicated Woods struggling to follow instructions from the arresting officer after driving erratically.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

While he was not drinking at the time, Woods was found to have a mix of several prescription medications in his system, including multiple painkillers. He checked himself into a private drug treatment program in July to address his dependency issues, and in October he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving.

But the incident was barely a memory when Woods again made a return to competition in the Bahamas at the tournament he hosts. This time around he exceeded nearly every expectation, twice shooting 4-under 68 while tying for ninth among the 18-man field. Having re-tooled his swing following fusion surgery, Woods appeared relaxed, happy and healthy while briefly taking the lead during the tournament’s second round.

What lies ahead for Woods in 2018 remains uncertain, as the stop-and-start nature of this past season serves as a cautionary tale. But after a harrowing arrest and another serious surgery, he seems once again focused on his game, intent on chasing down a new crop of elite talent, some of whom are barely more than half his age.

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Tiger Woods at his 2017 DUI court hearing.

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Tiger Woods at his 2017 DUI court hearing.

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Woods goes from unsure of his pro golf future to resuming full golf activities

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 12:30 pm