Current world No. 1 Yani Tseng is blogging for espnW throughout the LPGA season. This is the third entry from Tseng, who won the LPGA Kia Classic this past weekend.
I am so happy. Thank you to all my fans who support me and to my wonderful team that works hard behind the scenes. In the past two weeks, I have felt very much substantiated and very happy.
The first tournament back in the U.S., the Founders Cup, was held in Arizona. I encountered the weirdest weather! Before I headed for Arizona, I checked the weather forecast. It was supposed to be very pleasant weather, so we brought only summer clothes. I looked forward to the nice weather since it was unbearably hot in Thailand and Singapore. I thought I could comfortably adapt to the nice weather. However, after a couple of days, the weather was getting worse. My caddie, Jason, told me that it would be extremely cold Sunday, but I did not quite believe it. Nevertheless, we went to a local sports store to buy some warm clothes, gloves and a hot pad to be ready for the cold weather Sunday. I was happy I did a good job at the last minute to prepare for the extreme weather.
Sunday turned out to be very bad weather, perhaps one of the three worst weather days I have encountered. In addition to the cold rain, we had hail three times. On a couple of holes, the wind was blowing so hard, like a typhoon. Somehow, I also felt very special to play golf in such severe weather.
With three weather delays, we were lucky to finish the tournament. It was a tough win. To me, it further confirmed my game has become more stable and consistent. I also feel I have improved in handling various situations.
I really want to thank my team for working hard together to support me and so many of my fans for coming to support me. All my hard work is paying off! I also would like to thank Ai (Miyazato) and Na Yeon (Choi), who pushed me to get better. The win in Arizona is very special to me because it's the Founders Cup. Because of these founders and pioneers, we are now playing the highest competitions on the biggest stages. Because of them, there are tens of thousands of young juniors dreaming to be the best golfers. Looking back, I was one of those junior players.
Coming to the Kia Classic, I felt very relaxed. It could be because I had been coming to San Diego since I was 12 for so many summers to practice and to play junior tournaments. In fact, my first tournament in the U.S. was the 2001 Callaway Junior World held in San Diego. In 2002, I won my first tournament in the U.S. at Callaway Junior World. So, I am very familiar with the San Diego area. There are many people in San Diego who helped me and supported me, so I feel extremely comfortable here. It's like coming back to see many old friends.
Some unbelievable things occurred during this tournament. For example, my errant drive on the 18th hole in the third round landed on the right-side cart path. It bounced forward through the crowd and through a bridge, continued bouncing forward on the cart path, and stopped only 60 yards from the green. That was almost a 400-yard drive. Ha-ha! It was so much fun. You never know what the little white ball might do. Sometimes you get bad breaks; sometimes you get good breaks.
The most important development I saw this week was my patience. In the last two rounds, I did not play my best, but I kept being patient, constantly encouraging myself and providing myself with positive energy. Also, I felt very much appreciated since so many of my fans came to cheer for me and to encourage me, whether I played well or not. They cheered for me every time I had a good shot. I really enjoy playing in front of big crowds and have since I was young. I get more excited each time there are more people at the tournament. I love to show off my ability in a nice way. Of course, I am nervous, too. But, it's normal to be nervous.
Another thing surprised me. During the news conference, one reporter told me I have accumulated 23 Hall of Fame points. I need only four more points to be eligible for the Hall of Fame. This has been my big dream since I was very young. I was startled to hear this because I did not know how many points I needed to qualify. I only knew I needed to be on tour for 10 years. I am closer and closer to reaching my childhood dream. This is really exciting! I will continue to work hard, to focus on each tournament I play. I will keep smiling, be positive and never give up! I will give 100 percent each time I play. These are always my goals and my attitude.
I very much look forward to this week's major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Although I did not win last year, I was very close. I also learned the most valuable lesson of my life: I know my emotional control wasn't very good. I was very stressed after I missed a putt, after I made a bad shot. I learned from my mistakes and know clearly what I need to work on. Because of this experience, I feel even more energized and eager to win. You can be assured I will continue to work hard. I know it's every player's dream to jump into the sacred and famous Poppie's Pond. For sure, I will try my absolute best, step by step and be patient. I am looking forward to seeing all of you on the course this week at Kraft. Hugs.