With three majors already, Tseng eyes as many as idol Sorenstam amassed

yani tseng
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At the tender age of 21, Yani Tseng is already three-quarters of the way to the career Grand Slam.
PA Sport


Published: Monday, August 02, 2010 | 6:27 p.m.

Rory McIlroy, eat your heart out. Taiwan's Yani Tseng is also only 21 and she already has three major titles to her name in the women's game.

The third -- and her second of the season -- came in the Ricoh British Open at Royal Birkdale on Sunday and leaves her needing just the U.S. Women’s Open to complete a career Grand Slam.

Only Young Tom Morris, who became British Open champion at the age of 17 in 1868 and successfully defended it the following two years, has won three majors quicker.

Morris made it four in a row in 1872, but tragedy followed. His wife and newborn baby died during a difficult labor and the 24-year-old suffered a fatal heart attack only three months later.

Tseng cannot know what the future holds for her, but the world No. 1 spot is surely hers for the taking. She went to No. 2 when she won the Kraft Nabisco Championship in California in April, but after No. 1 Lorena Ochoa announced her retirement from the sport, others seized the chance to go to the top.

First it was Korean Jiyai Shin for six weeks, then Japan's Ai Miyazato for three, then American Cristie Kerr for one when she captured the U.S. Open, then Miyazato again for one, and last week Shin regained the spot.

Tseng is inspired, though, by Europe's last holder of the position: Sweden’s Annika Sorenstam. She bought Sorenstam's old house in Orlando and has now started filling the huge trophy cabinet.

"She texted me to say ,'I'm very happy to see you on top. That's where you belong. Just trust your ability and you'll be fine'," said Tseng after holding on in a nervy final round to beat Australian Katherine Hull by one.

"She's my big idol. I read all her notes and put in my yardage book. It helps a lot,” she added. "Annika won 10 majors and I now have three. I hope there are more to come."

The last time she and Hull met head-to-head in the final round was the 2008 Canadian Open. Tseng, six clear then, shot 77 to Hull's 69. No wonder, then, she did not feel comfortable with a four-shot advantage on Sunday.

"I think it's the toughest win I feel. I always come from behind -- I was never leading and won. I was always leading and lost,” she said. "It meant a lot to me that I know I can do it when I really need to do it."


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He is moving along the ranks.