Sunday, December 05, 2010

Yani Tseng wins Rolex Player of the Year

After Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa collecting this title the past 9 years, Yani Tseng claims 2010's Rolex Player of the Year.

In her already impressive resume, she got another one before she turns 22 next January.

It's been very close.  I got nervous watching the season-ending "playoff" LPGA Tour Championship where she barely made the third-day cut while the American hope Cristie Kerr and Na Yeon Choi both got a chance to capture the this title if they win. 

2010 LPGA Rolex Player of Year – Final standings
1          Yani Tseng        188.00
2.         Cristie Kerr        182.00
3          Na Yeon Choi    180.00
4          Ai Miyazato       179.00
5          Jiyai Shin          170.00

The interview with Yani Tseng:

MODERATOR:  We are here with Yani Tseng who is the 2010 Rolex Player of the Year. Yani, fabulous year.  You won three tournaments, including two majors this year.  You were obviously very emotional when you were on the 18th green today accepting your trophy.  Tell us what it feels like to be the first player from Taiwan to be the Rolex Player of the Year.
YANI TSENG:   Yeah, actually it's my honor to be the Player of the Year and when at the announcement, "Yani Tseng is Player of the Year," the emotion just -- it's kind of -- because I never thought I would be holding the trophy, winning Player of the Year.  Because I was always holding the trophy in a tournament, but just one week, but this feels like I'm holding for a year, I've been working so hard to chase this title.

Q.  You talked about your family and got quite emotional during the speech.  Can you just elaborate a little bit more hopefully without getting too teary-eyed.
YANI TSENG:   I would just say that me and my parents, in our family, we never say, I love you to each other.  We always keep in mind, and we didn't hug many times.  And I just said I couldn't remember when is the last time we've been hugging tight. So I was just so -- so I just really wanted to say that I really love them and want to thank them for supporting, because they come from Taiwan and they just -- they don't like the -- they are always eating the Chinese food.  It's just very tough for them to stay here with me, but they are just always supporting me, never say they are tired or something.  They just care about me.

Q.  So where is that trophy going on all of those shelves?
YANI TSENG:  I don't know, it's going to be in the trophy case -- yeah, I walked in the office yesterday to share my trophy with my friend and it was fun.  Because I just showed her that Annika put five trophies in one case and now I only put one trophy in one case, so now I'm going to put one more in.

Q.  Were you watching the leaderboard and noticing that Cristie and Choi were both sort of right there with the chance of winning and that you might not have come out of here with this thing?
YANI TSENG:  Well, I'm just so nervous, I was really nervous.  After I played, I just went back to my friend's house and had lunch and tried to stay as relaxed as I can, because I know I still have a chance on the last two holes to make birdie to win this, and both if they win, they are going to win like three big titles, end of the year. But they really played well this week, and then it's just my honor to be Player of the Year.

Q.  When you look back on the season, can you just point to anything in particular that kind of got you moving in such a positive direction, the Kraft, before the Kraft?
YANI TSENG:  Yeah, I think it's probably beginning of the year when I talked to Annika.  Because I think she really helped me a lot and she always e-mails me to encourage me when I was in the British Open or this week or some other weeks when I needed. She's always, saying, you know where I live, you can just stop at my door and just ask me a question.  But I was shy to go ask (laughing).  I knocked on her door one time because I want to give her a card, and then I was glad she's not at home because I don't know what I'm going to say, I was so nervous (laughter). But she's just so nice, such a nice people, and I'm really happy that she's enjoying her life right now and still supporting the LPGA, supporting golf and to help everybody out.

Q.  Have you heard from Annika yet today?
YANI TSENG:  Not yet.  Not yet.

Q.  Can you tell us your parents' names?
YANI TSENG:  Tseng Mao Hsin.  That's my dad.  My mom is Yu-Yun Yang.

Q.  What was the card that you were delivering to Annika's house?
YANI TSENG:  Because after I won the Kraft, I just donate a little money to her, to Annika's foundation, or any foundation Annika wants to donate, she can (laughter).  So I just wrote a check.  And I didn't write in the title, so I just had the check, money and thank-you card to say thank you very much for spending all your time with me, something like that.

Q.  So she was not home that day?
YANI TSENG:  No, she wasn't.  I was a little like -- (indicating breathing easier, relieved).

Q.  Did you slide the card under the door?

Q.  When did you find out last night that the cut had moved and that you were going to get to play today?
YANI TSENG:  You mean when?

Q.  Yesterday.  Were you still here?
YANI TSENG:  I found at home because we were looking on the Internet, because we wish we could play today.  Otherwise, I don't know what I should wear when I'm out on the green.  (Laughter) Should I wear jeans or something else?  Just feel weird.  (Laughter) So I'm glad I played today, shot under par.

Q.  What are your off-season plans?
YANI TSENG:  Actually I'm going to school, English school tomorrow morning, so I cannot sleep until noon. I have to wake up 7:00 tomorrow morning to go to school, because I just feel like I need to improve more my English.  So I was like, go maybe to English class in the morning and practice in the afternoon.

Q.  How long is the class?
YANI TSENG:  One month.  I hope I'm that quick.

MODERATOR:  Is it every day?           
YANI TSENG:  Monday to Friday.

MODERATOR:  And how much time each day?
YANI TSENG:  I think three hours, 9:00 to 12:00.

Q.  Where is it?
YANI TSENG:  It's right near my house, 20 minutes.  It's called Language Company.  Just study English with the class with friends.  So I'm really looking forward, even though I have to wake up early.

Q.  How much time did you spend on your speech?
YANI TSENG:  I just wrote it last night, because I was just -- I don't have confidence to win this title, so I just wrote last night, and when I wrote it, I was crying, too.  I just really want to thank everybody.

Q.  How much pages was it?
YANI TSENG:  It was a lot, like five.  What I'm doing on the sheets, it's not finished yesterday, I was like, I feel bad for everybody, because this takes so long.  (Laughter).