Defending Champion Yani Tseng is “back” with an opening round of 67 at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship

Defending Champion Yani Tseng is “back” with an opening round of 67 at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship

(Taipei, October 25, 2012) Yani is really back! Not only is she back in her hometown, her dominant game that local fans were so familiar with is also back, as evident in her opening round of 5-underpar 67 in the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship, good for 2nd place and 2 shots back of red-hot leader Korea’s Inbee Park.

Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng made it a memorable week last year at the inaugural Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship when she captured a five-shot victory in the first-ever LPGA event in her home country. Today she almost picked up where she left off by carding 6 birdies against one lone bogey, after finishing in third in last week’s LPGA Hana Bank Championship.

Yani was off to a good start by birdieing the very first hole. She followed up with another one at hole no. 6. After the turn, Yani’s precise iron shots almost set up birdie chances at every hole, and she had a stretch of four birdies in five holes to move up the leaderboard.

“After hole no. 12 I saw my niece. My mom just calling my name, she brought the niece and I saw her and her smile just make me real happy. That must give me little different power to make three birdies in a row,” said Yani, who said she was happy to be home and felt relaxed because she knew her “hometown crowd will support her 100 percent no matter what happens.”

Inbee Park’s impressive second-half surge continued on Thursday as she fired a bogey-free 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead at the Sunrise Golf & Country Club.“Obviously with that number, everything went really well today,” Park said. “I hit the ball great. I mean I hit a lot of short irons in, I also hit a lot of shots close and I was able to make a lot of birdies.”

It’s been just two weeks since Park captured her second victory of the 2012 season at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia. That win marked the first time that Park has enjoyed a multi-win season in her career and she seems pleased about the way she’s been able to improve over the past few months.

A group of four players who sits not far behind at 4-under-par after Park and Tseng includes Nicole Castrale, Pornanong Phatlum, Danielle Kang and Hee Young Park. Paula Creamer, who is playing in the tournament for the first time, opened with 2-under-par 70 to tie for 7 with last week’s Hana Bank LPGA Championship winner Suzann Pettersen of Norway.

Second round action of the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship is scheduled to start from 11:15am onwards. Yani will be paired with Inbee Park and Nicole Castrale in the last group scheduled to tee off at 11:15am at the first hole.

Inbee Park fired 7-under-par to lead Yani Tseng by 2 shots

Yani picks up three consecutive birdies at back 9

Yani shot an opening-round of 67 at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship

Yani's precise iron shots set up many birdie opportunities

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