Hi, my dear friends.
First of all, thank you very much for sending your caring concerns, encouragement and, most important, your trust, whether via phone calls, texts, or messages on my Facebook and Weipo fan pages. I will forever remember and continue to work hard so I will not let you down.
From the experiences of the past several weeks, I have learned and understand lots more about what might cause my lack of stellar performance. To be honest, only through failure can one really learn and understand more how to be successful.
After the Wegmans LPGA Championship, I was extremely depressed. Before the season began, I had reminded myself to forget everything that happened last year. This year was a new beginning with new challenges. I did not want to put too much pressure on myself. It’s easy to say, but it’s really difficult to do. Often, it’s an internal struggle. Only through extra effort can one accomplish such a difficult task.
Many of my fans encouraged me by saying, ‘Yani, it’s OK, you have already won three times. That’s a great accomplishment.’ However, I am a very competitive person. Because I wanted to win so badly, I let several of the tournaments slip away. Because I did not want to disappoint my supporters and my fans, I even pressured myself to do more, not only in practicing golf but also in physical training. With these extra pressures, sometimes I felt I only wanted to stay home and not go anywhere to have some fun. Dwelling too much on what happens on the golf course -- it’s not like me! I need to find the right balance. I know that to overcome this challenge, I need to learn to overcome myself.
I would like to thank my team, especially my swing coach Gary Gilchrist, who provided me valuable suggestions and encouragement so I can find my own self and get my confidence back. My friend, please do not worry! I will be back very soon and will find my smiles again on the golf course.
Now, I would like to share my feelings from two events I recently participated in. In addition to golf practice and physical training, I also participated in a couple of very meaningful events. These activities gave me more inspiration and motivated me to work even harder to march toward my dream goals.
The Monday after the LPGA Championship, I participated in a LIFE (LPGA pros in the Fight to Eradicate breast cancer) charity event hosted by Val Skinner at Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, N.J. I felt honored to be invited by Val to this June LIFE cancer-prevention charity. Being a woman, when I saw many of the breast cancer survivors coming to this event to thank the participants, I felt even more compelled to do more for these charity events.
The following week, I was happy to be invited by Billy Andrade and Brad Faxon to Providence, R.I., to participate in the CVS Charity Classic. This event has a long tradition and is in its 14th season. This year’s format partnered a Champions Tour player with an LPGA player for two days of competition. It was great to see Annika and Lorena there. It also was very nice to see Juli Inkster, who has been recovering from shoulder surgery. She is still so humorous. I am very happy she is back and will compete again in the next series of tournaments.
It was a very special experience for me since it was only the second time I have competed with Champions Tour and/or PGA Tour players for charity. Although it was a tournament competition, to me, it was more of a learning experience. My partner was Jeff Sluman. I learned a lot from him -- his rhythm and tempo, his approach to his shots, never in a rush, and how to release the pressure, the attitude of a great champion. Although we did not win, I felt I learned a lot from this trip. I further feel that it’s a long journey for me, and I still have so much to learn.
I really feel that I have been fortunate that I can use my passion of playing golf to participate in charity activities and to help many needy people. Also, I witnessed many of my fellow competitors participating in these meaningful activities. That further inspires me. Someday, I hope I will become a charity-event host, to use my influence to appeal to many more people to participate in charity activities.
Love yourself and love life. I hope everyone, in addition to caring about my performance on the golf course, also cares about the needy people around you.