Yani Tseng found some lost mojo Saturday with a 5-under-par 67 at the Safeway Classic.
She credited Rory McIlroy for her strong play.
“Rory winning the PGA Championship gave me a lot of inspiration,” Tseng said.
With her bogey-free round, Tseng moved into a tie for fifth place, four shots behind the leader, Mika Miyazato. Tseng is bidding to win her first LPGA title since the Kia Classic in March. Her run of nine LPGA events without a victory is her longest winless spell since she ascended to the top of the Rolex world rankings 79 weeks ago.
Tseng’s swing coach, Gary Gilchrist, reminded Tseng earlier this week that McIlroy was written off amid a summer slump after missing three cuts in a row and four cuts in five events.
Tseng said she watched a McIlroy interview about his PGA Championship victory before playing this week. He endured more missed cuts this summer than Tseng.
“He's just trying to forget about everything and just go out there and try to do the best that he can,” Tseng said. “Just be more relaxed and enjoy every shot that you can.”
Before arriving for the Safeway Classic, Tseng had broken par just once in 15 previous rounds. Her 67 equals her lowest score since the second round of the Shoprite Classic on June 2.
“My game seems like it’s coming back,” Tseng said.