Monday, October 28, 2013

What in the World Has Happened to Yani Tseng?

The 2013 LPGA season has brought us lots of surprises. We have had first time winners. We have had winners from 7 different countries. Five Major Championships were played for the first time, with one player (Inbee Park) winning 3 of them. We have even had 4 players win multiple championships this year. However the biggest surprise to date has to be the tumble taken by Yani Tseng.

Yani started the 2013 season ranked as the #1 player in the world. In fact, at one point during the 2011 season, the #2 ranked player in the world (Na Yeon Choi), was closer to the 180th Rolex ranked player than she was to Yani at #1. It seemed Yani would be number one forever.

Let us look at some of her accomplishments:

In 2008, at the age of 19, Yani won the LPGA Championship.
In 2009, Yani became the fastest player in LPGA history to reach $2 million in career earnings. She did it in only 32 events.
In 2010 Yani won 3 times, including 2 more championships.
In 2011 Yani won 7 times, including 2 more major championships.
In 2012 Yani won 3 more times.

Yani was the Rookie of the Year in 2008.
Yani was the LPGA Rolex Player of the Year in 2010 and 2011.
Yani won the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average in 2011.
Yani has 23 Hall of Fame points. Just 4 short of entry.

Quite a resume for someone that is just 24 years of age.

What we didn't expect was what has happened in the last 18 months. Yani has not only fell from her # 1 spot in the rankings, but is currently ranked #26. No that is not a mistake, she is #26. Yani has failed to win in her last 42 tournaments. Worse than that she has been in contention in very few. You almost never see her name anywhere near the leaderboard.

Let us look at some comparisons of today's Yani as compared to her 2011 final stats:

                                                      2013 Ranking               2011 Ranking  

Money List                                            36                                     1
Driving Distance                                    4                                      1
Driving Accuracy                                 140                                   85
Greens In Regulation                            70                                     2
Putts Per Greens In Regulation            21                                     5
Scoring Average                                   35                                     1
Rounds Under Par                                44                                     1
Birdies                                                   26                                     1
Rounds In The 60's                               39                                     1
Player of the Year Ranking                   28                                     1

Those statistics have all come from the Official LPGA website.

Now here are some more stats that I compiled myself:
                                               2013             2011

Wins                                           0                    7
Top 10 Finishes                         4                   14
Top 20 Finishes                         5                   17
Finishes Worse than 40th         12                   1
Rounds shot of 75 or worse      15                   3
Rounds over 80                          3                    0
Missed Cuts                                6                   1
Rolex Ranking                           26                   1

Quite an amazing difference. They look like statistics from 2 different players. As noted above Yani has 23 Hall of Fame points and needs just 4 more to qualify. The problem is, she has been stuck on that number for nearly 2 years now.

At 24, Yani still has plenty of time to turn it back around, but haven't we been saying that about Michelle Wie? Yani has stated that she is healthy, so that is not the problem. There seems to be no explanation for this unexpected fall.

I would like to hear any opinions my readers might have.


  1. Very intriguing statistics, Tony. Just when we thought the merry-go-round for # 1 after Lorena was over, here we are again. Inbee has had a great 18 months, but her lead is almost completely evaporated.

    It seemed Yani had the womens' golf world by the tail. Every single week it seemed she was on the first page, if not at the top of it. And she grew so much right before us. That smile, that laugh, that swagger. Looked rather unstoppable as it was happening.

    Golf is so fickle. Nothing lasts forever. Has Yani lost the combination of skill, timing, luck and confidence that propelled her so far ahead of everyone else? Who knows. She is still Yani Tseng. It is still within her. I have no big insight or scoop to answer the questions everyone is asking of her. But I will be watching and supporting her, as I have always done.

  2. Replies
    1. Yes, driving accuracy is sure the stat that stands out, but she never was very accurate even in her prime years. The greens in regulation going from #2 to #70 is a stunner. Of course that could be largely due to her missing fairways.

  3. No answers here either. I'd guess it's on the mental side. She apparently has lost confidence in her game, and at the pro level confidence is critical. She's probably looking for a mental coach who can get her through this stretch.

  4. Going down the Wie route in instruction...

  5. Yani used to get up and down from her mama's cleavage. Then she straightened out her driving and dominated. Now the driver is wild again and therefore the overall game suffers. Lastly, whenever you want to be fearless it helps to be 19 years of age. The older you get the tougher it gets.

  6. It looks to me her swing is not as SMOOTH as before in her prime time. As a result, she will miss more fairways and more greens and more putts. She lost her tempo and rhythm in her swing and then her confidence.

  7. Yanni needs to concentrate more on getting herself fit mentally and physically. After she is physically fit then it is easier to work on the mental. She has to stop partying with some of her celebrity friends. Agassi's game tanked while dating or married to Brook Shields. His ranking shoot up after with Steffi Graff who is a fitness expert.

  8. Dont care if she is no1 or 91. Still love her.........xxxxx

  9. Ever since she picked up that trophy like she won it before the tournament was over...her game went straight downhill. Nobody talks about it..but they know on tour. ...PURE TABOO!

  10. Ever since she picked up that trophy like she won it before the tournament was over...her game went straight downhill. Nobody talks about it..but they know on tour. ...PURE TABOO!