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Tseng wins Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open in China

From left: Xu Yueping, chairman of Suzhou Taihu International Golf Club, Yu Xingnan from Suzhou Wuzhong District, tournament champion Yani Tseng and Zhang Xiao-ning, General Secretary of China Golf Association.

World number one Yani Tseng won the Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open in China on Sunday for her 11th worldwide victory of the year.

The 22-year-old five-time major champion closed with a six under par 66 on a beautiful final day at Suzhou Taihu International Golf Club for a seven stroke victory over Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg. It was her 30th career title in four seasons as a professional and her third win in her last four events.   

“It’s very exciting for me today. I played so consistently. I was really patient and made lots of good putts to save par so I am proud of myself to finish six under on Sunday and with no bogeys,” Tseng said.

When asked if there was a secret to her dominance, she added: “I don’t know. I just play one shot at a time and be patient and keep learning. I just learn from mistakes.”

Tseng during her final round of 66 in Suzhou

Tseng fired six birdies in the final round to finish with a three-round total of 16 under 200 and earned a first prize of €45,000.  

After opening with rounds of 68 and 66, she started the final round three clear of Lindberg and widened the gap to five strokes with birdies on the fifth, sixth and seventh holes.

She hit a four-iron into the par-five fifth and two putted for birdie, before pitching to three feet at the sixth from 85 yards. A 15-footer for birdie at the seventh saw her reach the turn at 13 under par.

Lindberg exerted a little pressure with birdies at the 13th and 14th, but Tseng responded by pitching to 15 feet at the next and holing for birdie to move four clear.   

Tseng then picked up shots at the par-four 16th and par-five 18th holes to seal the win in front of a huge gallery of adoring supporters, some of whom had their faces painted with ‘YA-NI’ across their cheeks.

“I’m very excited, especially when you see all the fans here from everywhere. They all cheered for me and it was fun to play in front of those people. I really enjoyed it on the golf course today and those people were great, so thanks for coming to support us,” Tseng said.

She had to speak the crowd about taking too many photographs on the 12th tee, but said:  “Today there were lots of cameras and I tell myself, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ I play like its normal because I’m happy to see them coming out.”

Pernilla and Yani at the start of the last round

Lindberg had a 70 and she said: “I left some shots out there but overall I’m pretty happy with how I performed in the group I was in. Like I said yesterday, it’s a great experience every time you play with a top player and I feel like I handle it better and better every time. I’m very happy with that.

She wasn’t making any putts or any birdies in the beginning and I knew sooner or later that she’s going to make some and play great. Of course I always thought I had a chance but then she just ran away from us.”

The 2010 champion Lee-Anne Pace of South Africa shot 70 to tie for third with England’s Melissa Reid (68) at eight under.

“I’m not too disappointed because I’ve played well all three days. I think if a couple more putts have dropped I could have been up there but they didn’t so it wasn’t my week. I still played well and for a defence it was okay,” Pace said.

Reid closed with three birdies in her last four holes to enhance her chances of winning the Ladies European Tour’s 2011 Henderson Money List.

“I’ve been hitting it good the last couple of weeks; I just really struggled with my putting and it’s probably the worst I’ve putted all year the last two weeks. Even today I three-putted twice and it could have been a lot better than what it was, but back nine I gathered my thoughts a little bit and hit two or three shots really close,” Reid said.

I’m still going to have to play well in Dubai to win the exemption ranking or the money list but it’s probably given me a bit more leeway.”

Final Scores:

200 - Yani Tseng (TPE) 68 66 66

207 - Pernilla Lindberg (SWE) 72 65 70

208 - Melissa Reid (ENG) 71 69 68, Lee-Anne Pace (SA) 68 70 70

209 - Lisa Holm Sorensen (DEN) 68 73 68, Thidapa Suwannapura (THA) 72 67 70, Beth Allen (USA) 70 68 71, Becky Brewerton (WAL) 67 71 71

210 - Nontaya Srisawang (THA) 70 73 67, Ursula Wikstrom (FIN) 72 67 71, Giulia Sergas (ITA) 68 70 72, Caroline Hedwall (SWE) 69 69 72

211 - Ashleigh Simon (SA) 73 72 66, Yang Tao Li (CHN) 72 71 68, Guo Cai Zhu (CHN) 71 71 69, Anne-Lise Caudal (FRA) 70 71 70, Russamee Gulyanamitta (THA) 71 70 70

212 - Yan Jing (Am) (CHN) 72 70 70, Christine Song (USA) 71 70 71, Florentyna Parker (ENG) 74 66 72

213 - Stacy Lee Bregman (SA) 69 77 67, Minea Blomqvist (FIN) 72 70 71

214 - Felicity Johnson (ENG) 71 71 72, Karen Lunn (AUS) 70 72 72

215 - Jennifer Rosales (PHI) 74 72 69, Tania Elosegui (ESP) 74 72 69, Ye Na Chung (KOR) 73 73 69, Zhang Yu Yang (CHN) 71 74 70, Kaisa Ruuttila (FIN) 71 72 72, Tiffany Tavee (USA) 70 73 72, Narisara Kerdrit (THA) 74 66 75, Sophie Giquel-Bettan (FRA) 72 68 75

216 - Frances Bondad (AUS) 75 71 70, Adriana Zwanck (ESP) 73 73 70, Kristie Smith (AUS) 73 73 70, Sophie Sandolo (ITA) 73 72 71, Patcharajutar Kongkraphan (THA) 74 69 73, Jenni Kuosa (FIN) 70 73 73, Louise Larsson (SWE) 72 71 73, Kim Welch (USA) 72 70 74, Becky Morgan (WAL) 71 70 75, Laura Davies (ENG) 71 70 75, Vikki Laing (SCO) 70 69 77

217 - Zhong Xiao Long (CHN) 71 74 72, Titiya Plucksataporn (THA) 76 69 72, Line Vedel (DEN) 68 76 73, Christel Boeljon (NL) 74 69 74, Veronica Zorzi (ITA) 69 73 75, Nikki Garrett (AUS) 70 70 77, Kylie Walker (SCO) 68 70 79

218 - Pei Lin Yu (TPE) 77 69 72, Lin Xiyu (CHN) 72 73 73, Joanna Klatten (FRA) 74 71 73, Tian Hong (CHN) 73 71 74, Walailak Satarak (USA) 71 73 74, Jaclyn Sweeney (USA) 70 72 76, Klara Spilkova (CZE) 70 70 78

219 - Hei-Ji Kim (KOR) 71 70 78

220 - Li Wei (CHN) 75 71 74, Dewi Claire Schreefel (NL) 75 71 74, Wang Xin (CHN) 75 70 75

221 - Morgana Robbertze (SA) 76 70 75

222 - Clare Queen (SCO) 73 73 76, Lu Yue Xia (CHN) 70 74 78, Tan Ling Ling (CHN) 69 73 80

226 - Chien Pei Yun (TPE) 72 73 81

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