Tseng (65) in weekend contention at Manulife LPGA


Yani Tseng will be looking to build on another promising flash of form.

Tseng’s 7-under-par 65 Friday at the Manulife LPGA Classic moved the former Rolex world No. 1 into contention heading into the weekend. Tseng was at 11 under overall and in third place when she signed her scorecard, just two shots off the lead. It was her lowest round since she shot a 63 at the Safeway Classic in August of 2013.

“It feels pretty good,” Tseng said. “I was bogey free today, and I hit my driver very good out there.”

Tseng, 26, is looking for her first victory in three years.  She’s a 15-time LPGA winner who reigned at No. 1 for 109 consecutive weeks before losing the top ranking early in the 2013 season. She’s No. 73 in the world today.

Tseng made a strong start this year, tying for second at the Honda LPGA Thailand. She seized the first-round lead the very next week at the HSBC Women’s Champions before falling off for a T-21 finish. She has missed four of eight cuts since. Tseng is seventh on tour in putts per greens in regulation this year, but she isn’t giving herself enough birdie chances while posting too many big numbers. She’s 100th in hitting greens in regulation. While she’s third in driving distance, she’s 152nd in driving accuracy.

The search for a return to the form that made her such a dominant force has been a frustrating process for Tseng.

“Just trying to not think too much of outcomes,” Tseng said.

Tseng said her focus has become trying to get the ball “in the hole as fast as I can.” She said she’s trying not to obsess over missing fairways. She said the Whistle Bear Golf Club setup, with its wide fairways and big greens, allows her to take advantage of her power and play aggressively.

“I try to make as much birdies as I can and not worry about bogeys,” she said. “If I miss, I try to save the shot, but if I can go for it, I'll go for it.”