Column: Back in time on LPGA for Sorenstam and Yani Tseng – Washington, District of Columbia

Washington, District of Columbia 2021-02-23 18:45:48 –

Annika Sorenstam has announced that she will retire after winning a series of starts on the LPGA Tour in 2008 …

Annika Sorenstam won a series of starts on the 2008 LPGA Tour, which she announced she would retire at the end of the season. Three weeks later, when 19-year-old Yani Tseng won his first major, the surprising decision was still fresh.

Their roads cross again this week in a way almost unimaginable.

Both are playing Gainbridge LPGA.

It’s news for a variety of reasons.

Sorenstam turned 50 in October and hasn’t been on the LPGA tour since the final event in 2008. Retiring in golf is not easy. Sorenstam was one of the few players who managed to leave at the peak of the game. It does not suggest that this is the beginning of a comeback, she does not say if anything else is in progress.

The Swedes played the PNC Championship with his father in December and said he wanted to play more because his son Will had started playing golf. Sorenstam was part of the celebrity division, but she also played the opening round of the LPGA tour season last month.

She talked about wanting to get involved in a senior event in December. Specifically, he mentioned the US Senior Women’s Open. The problem is that it was around the time of the Olympics, and Sorenstam was recently appointed to the predominantly ceremonial role of the President of the International Golf Federation.

This week at her home course, Lake Nona, in Orlando, Florida, she will be on the field with Jin Young-ko, the number one player in women’s golf.

Ko was 13 when Sorenstam retired.

“I don’t know if I know Anika, I just heard that Anika is a legend,” Ko said. “But I want to play with her this week.”

This is true for almost everyone in this area.

World No. 2 Kim Sei-young was just as happy to hear Sorenstam play as he escaped from a icy house near Dallas.

“If I get the chance, I was an idol when I was young, so I want to play with him,” Kim said. “I’m very happy to see her play up close.”

And there is Zen, who should be at the height of her career.

She had no reason to believe that the great golf she played at the beginning of her career wasn’t always the case. Nothing in this sport lasts — Jordan Spieth is the latest to speak highs and lows — but few have plummeted as much as Zen.

At the age of 22, Zhen earned a fifth major, becoming the youngest male or female player, and earned that number of majors at that age. She won 12 worldwide in 2011. She fell four points below the LPGA Hall of Fame when she won the Kia Classic in her 15th LPGA Tour title in March 2012.

That was her last victory.

Tseng reached the number one position in the world and stayed there for 109 weeks. This is the second consecutive win after Lorena Ochoa. And she stopped winning. She stopped fighting. She fell into the trap of thinking she had to reach her number one, unaware that her game had led her there.

“I imagined what the best in the world should be, a much better person than I am,” Zhen said in the midst of the most difficult times.

The last LPGA event at the age of 32 was the Lotte Championship in Hawaii in April 2019. She received a medical exemption and returned to Taiwan. Golfweek reported that Tseng has enrolled in a 10-day meditation retreat. This means no talking, no computer, no eye contact. She cried for the first five days.

“I finally let it go,” Zen told Golf Week. “I have had a lot of trouble with myself.”

She continued to slowly submerge her toes in the water, which was contributed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Tseng played five times at the Taiwan LPGA in late 2020, missed a cut and failed to finish in the top 25. She played another Taiwanese event, Hitachi Ladies Classic, earlier this year. It was number 125.

Zen, who returned in 919 this week, is tied for 55th place.

Tseng lived in Lake Nona, where he bought an old house in Sorenstam, until he moved to California to facilitate his return flight to Taiwan. This is the first big step and a long way to go.

“I think this is a resurgence from the depths,” said Hall of Fame and longtime television analyst Judy Rankin. “She didn’t have a lot of bad experiences. And you suffer in difficult times. Even if you get a couple below par, you will reach a place where you can see black clouds.

“She did something very smart to get away,” Rankin added. “If she’s going to find it again, she’s on a good path to take a good break.”


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