World No. 1 Yani Tseng will be trying to shake her sluggish form and extend the Asian hot streak to nine consecutive victories in LPGA events at this week’s Navistar Classic.
With Jiyai Shin’s victory Sunday at the Ricoh Women’s British Open, Asian-born players claimed their seventh consecutive major championship and eighth consecutive LPGA title.
Shin won’t be going for three in a row as she’s taking this week off, but another victory by a player from the Far East would heighten anticipation on the other side of the world for the fall Asian swing. This week’s event on The Senator Course along the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Prattville, Ala., marks the final American event before the tour heads to Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan for four consecutive weeks. There’s a lot to celebrate in women’s golf over there this year.
The LPGA season will end with the final event on American soil with the CME Group Titleholders to be played at TwinEagles in Naples, Fla., Nov. 15-18.
With Shin’s victory, she moved up to No. 5 in the Rolex world rankings. Four of the top five and eight of the top 10 players in the world are now from the Far East.
Tseng cited a devoted work ethic as part of the reason for Asia’s dominance of the women’s game.
“Asian players train so hard,” Tseng said in her pre-tournament media session Wednesday. “Most of the time, on Monday mornings, the only people you see on the range are Asians. I mean, only see Asians.”
Tseng is looking for her fourth LPGA title this year, but her first in six months, since winning the Kia Classic in March. She’s 0 for her last 12 events, her longest winless spell since ascending to No. 1 in the world
Though Tseng originally wasn’t planning to play this week, she said she couldn’t resist returning to The Senator Course. She thinks it suits her big-hitter’s game.
“It’s a great golf course to grip it and rip it and play to my advantage,” Tseng said.