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Yani Tseng in sight of career grand slam
July 7, 2011

Yani Tseng of Taiwan said on Wednesday she turned to former world number one Annika Sorenstam for advice as she seeks to complete a career grand slam at this week’s U.S. Women’s Open.

The 22-year-old, long-hitting Taiwanese lives in a house she purchased from Sorenstam two years ago and now leans on her friend for advice even though she recently became the youngest golfer to win four major professional titles.

Tseng said she visited Sorenstam in her Florida home last week and, over a few glasses of wine, asked if she was putting too much emphasis on winning the U.S. Women’s Open, which begins Thursday at The Broadmoor’s East Course in Colorado.

“If you just play the same as last week, you’re going to win.” World number one Tseng quoted Sorenstam, a 10-times major winner, as saying.

Tseng, bidding to become the LPGA’s seventh career grand slam winner of all four majors, enters the U.S. Women’s Open riding momentum from a dominating 10-shot victory at the LPGA Championship two weeks ago.

That runaway victory was Tseng’s third of the season, gave her three major wins from the last six played, and instilled her as the heavy favourite this week.

At 7,041 yards, The Broadmoor will be the longest U.S. Open course the women have played. Add firm and slick greens into the mix, along with typical Open rough, and there do not figure to be too many sub-par scores expected by the time the 2011 champion is crowned on Sunday.

But none of that seems to worry Tseng.

“I just focus more on majors,” said Tseng. “I love a tough course. I love the challenge. You’re not going to be shooting lots of low scores.”

While Tseng’s attitude can hardly instill much confidence in the other contestants preparing to tee off in the 66th U.S. Women’s Open, the field boasts several threats to deny Tseng.

Defending champion Paula Creamer, world number two Cristie Kerr and world number three Suzann Pettersen of Norway are among the 155 other golfers in this week’s field.

But the bulk of the attention will be on Tseng.

“You look at Yani and you never think there will be another Mickey Wright or another Annika Sorenstam or Lorena (Ochoa) and all of a sudden Yani comes along,” said Hall of Famer Juli Inkster, who is also playing this week.

“Yani has Lorena’s power. I mean she can bomb the ball. She’s got a lot of passion for the game. She wants to be the best. She wants to get better. So she could be here for awhile.

“If she stays healthy, she could probably break a lot of Annika’s records.”

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