Tseng hangs on to beat Yang in playoff


Top ranked Yani Tseng made the most of her second chances Sunday, rolling in a four-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff to defend her NW Arkansas Championship title. Taiwan’s Tseng holed the winning putt on the par-five 18th hole to edge South Korea’s Amy Yang who failed to convert a six-foot birdie try just moments earlier. “I almost cried because today because in the middle of the round, I felt like, ‘Oh, I’m going to lose today.’ Because I didn’t feel any excitement and I wasn’t making any birdies,” Tseng said. “But I just telling myself, ‘I need to get excited, need more focused, try to stretch, move around, just feel more.’ Like the last three holes, I made some birdies, so that was very important for me.”
The 22-year-old Tseng had her own putting woes on the final hole in regulation after failing to make a five-foot putt that would have given her the victory at the Pinnacle Country Club course. Instead the pair headed to a playoff after they both closed with three-under 68s to finish at 12-under 201. Tseng leads the LPGA Tour with five wins this season, including major titles at the LPGA Championship and Women’s British Open. Tseng made bogey on the par-four 13th to drop to 10 under, then rallied with birdies on the par-five 14th and par-four 16th.
“After the second hole I was a hole behind and I keep telling myself, ‘It’s OK, we still have lots of holes, stay patient and be always positive and keep focused on every shot,”‘ Tseng said. Yang parred the final 11 holes of regulation. She forced the playoff by making a four-foot putt on 18 after Tseng missed her short one. Japan’s Ai Miyazato shot a 66 to finish third at 11 under. Cristie Kerr was the lone American to crack the top seven as she fired a final round 68 to end up two strokes back of Tseng.