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Tseng Wins Again


Yani Tseng survived a chilly and long Sunday in the Arizona desert to earn the 14th title of her young career. The 23-year-old from Taiwan closed with a 4-under 68 at Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix to win the LPGA Founders Cup.

Because of lightning near the course, play was delayed three separate times in the final round for a total of three hours. It took Tseng and playing partner Ai Miyazato, who started the day tied for the lead, eight hours to complete the final round.

Tseng proved better at handling the delays. Her closing 68 took her to 18-under 270, one stroke less than Miyazato (69) and Na Yeon Choi (68). The victory was worth $225,000.

Tseng capped the round with a two-putt from 40 feet, with the final stroke of the long day from two feet. "I was feeling like we were going to finish tomorrow, so we were really lucky to finish today and finish in the dark the last few holes," she said.

"Because of my eyes, I couldn't see much of a distance, so I tried to keep to myself, 'OK, just finish these few holes, just hit a good shot, good contact, play one shot at a time.' " (See below for Tseng's full post-round interview.)

Miyazato was happy just to complete the round. "It was definitely a long day, and I've never seen this weather in Phoenix before," the Japanese player said. "Thank God we finished."

For all the scores, visit http://www.lpgascoring.com/public/Leaderboard.aspx.

After signing her scorecard, Tseng met with reporters for the following interview.

MODERATOR: All right. We'd like to welcome the 2012 RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup winner, Yani Tseng into the interview room. Congratulations. What a win today, quite a dramatic day out there, full of lots of delays, some hail, some rain. Can you just take me through the day?

YANI TSENG: I know, it was a little drama out there today. I mean I didn't play very well on the front nine. It was like hail on the first hole and it was like hail three holes today, and I just was really patient. We were back on and off like three, four times. And in my mind I was feeling like we were going to finish tomorrow, so we were really lucky to finish today and finish in the dark the last few holes, and because of my eyes, I couldn't see much of a distance, so I tried to keep to myself, okay, just finish these few holes, just hit a good shot, good contact, play one shot at a time.

Today, front nine I had a few little bad mistakes, and I mean I just but I'm proud of myself. I hung in there on the back 9. I think the second time raining, like second time or first time raining first time raining I think was a good break for me because I finished nine holes, was one over and I had a birdie chance on No. 10, but then we have a break. So I take a little bit my time and come back here to relax a little bit and rethink, restart the day. So it was a good break for me there and I had a birdie on No. 10 and played well on the back 9.

MODERATOR: That birdie on No. 10 got you into a hot strike where you birdied five of six holes. Did you get going there? Did you just find your comfort level? Did something change mentally where you felt this is the time to make that push?

YANI TSENG: I just felt this is the time. I told myself, we have nine more holes, okay, three shots back. You still have a good chance on the Back 9. Just play like on the first day, try to make birdie every hole. I played 7 under here before, so maybe I can do it again. I played 5 under, so it was pretty close.

MODERATOR: You had a two shot lead until Na Yeon and Ai birdied on 16. Take me through those final two holes when you had the one shot lead and darkness was creeping in. How were you able to maintain your focus and not let any of the other things distract you from what you were doing?

YANI TSENG: I didn't think too much, but I think 17 hole, that four foot putt, make par, I think that's very important for me because I know if I make this, I can win the tournament, so I just stayed really focused and tried to not think too much. And I don't think we're going to play in the dark or something. If I don't finish, it's okay. So I kind of not rushed, just, you know, step by step and not thinking too much.

MODERATOR: Questions for Yani?

Q. It seemed like the breaks maybe helped you more than anyone else. Why do you think that happened where you kind of were able to come inside, cool off for a bit? Other people sounded like they had trouble, they had to get stretching and get warmed up again. Why do you think maybe that helped you?

YANI TSENG: Yeah, you know, first time I didn't think it helped me because I didn't play quite well. I didn't hit a good shot and driver was so so. I made good putt, but I missed. So it was not very special front nine, so I feel I just give myself lots of advantage to come back here, have a little lunch, you know, chatting and do something with friend, and you know, just like stay relaxed here and don't try to be stressful on the golf course. Thinking try to make birdie, try too hard on the golf course. It was good coming back here.

And the second time it was kind of a little hard because I kept making birdie and all of a sudden the horn is blowing again. I was like, oh, I wish I could keep there and start making birdies, so I was pretty lucky, I got back and start making two birdies, and I thought we could not finish today and it was just very lucky. I'm really happy that we finished today, and I just thank all the people for staying here with us all day.

Q. How long was your birdie putt on the par 4, 13th when you took the lead?

YANI TSENG: 13?

Q. Right after the delay, the last delay.

YANI TSENG: It was a par - par 3?

Q. The 14th hole.

YANI TSENG: Par 3. Isn't that a par 3?

Q. Yeah.

YANI TSENG: Like 20 feet. Had 20 feet for birdie, and I mean I was really cold when I get back there. My hand was it was like rock. I mean I have no feel with my hand and tried to get warm, and it was just really tough. The weather was really tough out there today.

Q. Did the speed of the greens change at all after the delays when it got wet?

YANI TSENG: It is. I think especially third time when we were back out and it was raining very hard and hailed again, and green kind of getting a little slower. So last three putt I been hitting short like a little bit, but it is getting slower a little bit the back.

Q. Just how do you explain the start of the year for you, two victories? Obviously this is the streak that you would like to continue; right?

YANI TSENG: Yeah, of course. I'm just very proud of myself because like after nine holes I was three shots back, and I just hung in there and do my best and try to not worry about other people doing because actually yesterday I went back to look a little golf on the senior tour, and here is something like they were doing. They don't care what other people are playing, you know. You just kind of focus on yourself. So I mean I just kind of remind myself that, don't worry about anybody playing and you just do your best. If you don't win, it's okay. You try next time. If you win, I mean you're good, so I mean I'm just very proud of myself to hung in there. And I mean Ai and Na Yeon, they played so well today, so it was really good. They pushed me to become better and better, to let me feel like under pressure all the time and the three of us, we were trying to win. I mean we were so close like today. So it was very good. They both played very well today.

MODERATOR: Yani, you've won a lot over the past year, but this victory with it being the Founders Cup and seeing the Founders here all week and a lot of the pioneers of the LPGA Tour, is this one special knowing what it means to celebrate the history of the LPGA?

YANI TSENG: I think so. I think it's very special. I mean this year is the most special tournament on the LPGA because last year we played for charity, so I mean that's very special. I mean everybody, doesn't matter how much they played, I mean you make birdie, you donate money to charity or all your prize money to charity and this year all the Founders are here. We see five of them, they were here. So I mean we wouldn't be here with all the Founders. I just really thank them to give me and give all the girls junior to have a big opportunity to come here and play on the LPGA. I'm one of us and I'm really appreciate and it's my honor to be a part of this.

MODERATOR: Any more questions for Yani? Well, thank you very much, and again, congratulations.

YANI TSENG: Thank you. Thanks.

The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports