Taiwan's Yani Tseng shares LPGA lead
11 Sep 2011 - 05:00:09
Top-ranked Yani Tseng says she is feeling just the right combination of nerves and confidence as she seeks to defend her title at the LPGA Tour's NW Arkansas Championship.
The 22-year-old from Taiwan is the co-leader at the $2 million event after firing a four-under 67 in the second round on Saturday to reach a nine-under 133 total.
"I think it's hard to not have pressure because, I mean, for sure I've got pressure tomorrow, defending champion and in the lead," said Tseng, heading into Sunday's final round of the 54-hole event.
"There is going to be a little pressure, but I just want to enjoy that pressure. I know tomorrow, first couple of holes are going to be nervous. If I were not nervous, that would be a little weird. So I care."
Tseng, who has won four LPGA events this year, shares the lead with South Korea's Amy Yang who shot a 64 on the Pinnacle Country Club course.
Taylor Leon (67) is a stroke back, and Stacy Lewis (69) is seven-under along with US compatriot Cristie Kerr (66), Park In-Bee (65) and Jin Young-Pak (68).
Tseng, the LPGA Championship and Women's British Open winner, finished with a half dozen birdies and two bogeys, nearly acing the 160-yard 15th hole. She shot a 32 on the back nine.
"I worked on my tempo on the back nine," Tseng said. "I got a little too fast with my tempo, but I just keep to myself, keep focused, and actually back nine I got really lucky.
"I had a good bounce on No. 8, good bounce on No. 4 or 5, and I have a great up and down on par three, so those three shots were important."
Yang, who is winless on the LPGA Tour, made eagle on the par-five seventh.
"Everything was good today," Yang said. "I was hitting the ball solid and hitting the putts solid. You know, from tee to green, I was playing good. I'm really happy about my game."
American Lewis rolled in four birdies and is just two shots adrift of the leaders.
"I was kind of frustrated," Lewis said. "I left a lot of putts out there. My speed was just a little off and my lines were a little off, but still it was a good enough round that it kept me in it for tomorrow."
Michelle Wie missed the cut as she failed to fight back from a seven-over 78 in her opening round.