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South Jersey Hosts Golf’s Hottest Star this Weekend – Meet Yani Tseng

Yani Tseng
Yani Tseng - Picture courtesy of the LPGA

As the world’s best women golfers converge on South Jersey this weekend for the ShopRite LPGA Classic at the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club,  one of the brightest spotlights will shine on the sports emerging young star, Yani Tseng.  The 23 year-old native of Taiwan, is the only golfer, male or female, to be included on Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the world” list and is considered  by many … experts to be the world’s most marketable female athlete.

Tseng has held the number one ranking on the Rolex World rankings  for women golfers for 68 consecutive weeks. so far in 2012, she has has three victories and leads the winner’s money list by more than $300,000!  This will be Tseng’s third time on the the Bay course at Seaview, a course she calls “tricky”.  Tseng finished third last year at the ShopRite Classic.

Lite rock is thrilled to be back as a sponsor again this year for the ShopRite LPGA Classic. The action tees off Friday morning  for the three days, 54-hole stroke play tournament, with 144 players and a purse of $1.5 million with a $225,000 winner’s check. Look for Lite Rock at the Stockton Seaview Sunday afternoon for the conclusion for the tournament!

To give you a more in-depth background about Yani Tseng, here is a segment of a blog she wrote about her life  for ESPN W earlier this year…

“I believe, outside the golf space, there are not many people who know me, so let me first introduce myself. My name is 曾雅妮.

曾 (Tseng) is my last name (or surname; I prefer it as a surname since in Chinese, we place the surname in front of the given name) and 雅妮 (Ya-Ni) is my given name. In Taiwan, the majority of people have a given name with two Chinese characters, each with meaning to it. When translating into English, we often add a hyphen between two Chinese characters in the given names. For convenience, I use Yani without a hyphen. It’s difficult for many of you to pronounce Tseng. Many often pronounce it incorrectly. But it’s OK since you will remember me more by this difficult pronunciation. Well, it’s more closely pronounced as “Zeng.”

I turned 23 last month, on Jan. 23. On that day, a friend of mine told me that when your age coincides with your birth date, you should party the whole week. But I did not because I am working on my game to get better and better.

I come from Taiwan, which is a small island off the southeast shore of China. You probably need a magnifying glass to find it on the map. But it is a beautiful place, and I really want to show the world where I grew up if I have a chance.

My parents both played golf and introduced me to golf when I was 5 years old. They took me to the driving range and I played around at the range and immediately developed an interest in it. When I was 7, my dad asked his friend to teach me. I played my first tournament competition when I was 8. I remember I shot around 125. I also remember I stayed in the bunker for quite a long time because I couldn’t hit the ball out, and I cried. But I did not give up and eventually got the ball out. It was probably the most memorable experience during that period.

I am 5-foot-6, an average height. I like this height because before I became the world No. 1, I checked Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa’s bios. They are both 5-6. Since then, I felt I also had an opportunity to be the world No. 1. Ha, ha!

I have a fearless but neutral personality. I cried often when I got frustrated but laughed more often when I was happy. I love various sports, including basketball, tennis and billiards. But I cannot quite swim. I’m afraid of water. It’s hard for me to relax in the swimming pool, but I do shower :) . So I am still learning how to swim at my Lake Nona home.”

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