Column: Again in time on LPGA for Sorenstam and Yani Tseng

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Annika Sorenstam had gained consecutive begins on the LPGA Tour in 2008 when she introduced she would retire on the finish of the season. The shock choice was nonetheless contemporary three weeks later when 19-year-old Yani Tseng gained her first main.

Their paths cross once more this week in a way few may have imagined.

Each are taking part in the Gainbridge LPGA.

That’s information for various causes.

Sorenstam turned 50 in October and has not competed on the LPGA Tour because the ultimate occasion of 2008. Retirement by no means comes simply in golf, and Sorenstam was among the many few who managed to stroll away on the peak of her sport. That’s to not counsel that is the beginning of a comeback, and she or he hasn’t stated if anything is within the works.

The Swede performed the PNC Championship together with her father in December and stated she was being motivated to play extra as a result of her son, Will, was stepping into golf. She additionally performed the LPGA Tour season opener final month, though Sorenstam was a part of the movie star division.

She talked in December about desirous to dabble in senior occasions, particularly mentioning the U.S. Senior Girls’s Open. Hassle is, that’s across the time of the Olympics, and Sorenstam just lately was appointed to a largely ceremonial position of president of the Worldwide Golf Federation.

This week at Lake Nona, her dwelling course in Orlando, Florida, she’ll be within the discipline alongside Jin Younger Ko, the No. 1 participant in ladies’s golf.

Ko was 13 when Sorenstam retired.

“I’m undecided I do know Annika, simply I heard Annika is legend,” Ko stated. “However I need to play together with her this week.”

That’s true for many everybody within the discipline.

Sei Younger Kim, the No. 2 participant on this planet, was as glad to listen to Sorenstam could be taking part in as she was to get away from her freezing dwelling close to Dallas.

“If I’ve probability, I need to play together with her as a result of she’s my idol once I was younger,” Kim stated. “I’m very glad to be very near see her play.”

After which there’s Tseng, who must be within the prime of her profession.

She had no motive to imagine the good golf she performed at first of her profession wouldn’t at all times be that means. Nothing ever lasts on this sport — Jordan Spieth is the most recent who may converse to the highs and lows — however few have plummeted as far or as rapidly as Tseng.

Tseng was 22 when she gained her fifth main, making her the youngest participant, male or feminine, to have that many majors at that age. She had 12 wins all over the world in 2011. When she gained the Kia Traditional in March 2012 for her fifteenth LPGA Tour title, she was 4 factors wanting the LPGA Corridor of Fame.

That was her final win.

Tseng reached No. 1 on this planet and stayed there for 109 weeks, a streak second solely to Lorena Ochoa. After which she stopped successful. She stopped contending. She fell into the entice of considering she needed to stay as much as her No. 1 rating with out recognizing that her sport is what introduced her there.

“I used to be taking a look at (what) I imagined world No. 1 must be, somebody a lot better than I’m,” Tseng stated in the course of the midst of her hardest instances.

The final LPGA occasion for the 32-year-old was the Lotte Championship in Hawaii in April of 2019. She took a medical exemption and went dwelling to Taiwan. Golfweek reported that Tseng enrolled in a 10-day meditation retreat that meant no speaking, no computer systems, no eye contact. She cried for the primary 5 days.

“I lastly let it go,” Tseng informed Golfweek. “I’ve been so exhausting on myself.”

She has been slowly dipping her toes again into the water, and the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to that. Tseng performed 5 instances over the second half of 2020 on the Taiwan LPGA, lacking one lower and failing to complete within the prime 25. She performed one other Taiwan occasion at first of his yr, the Hitachi Women Traditional, the place the highest-ranked participant was No. 125.

Tseng, who returns this week at No. 919 on this planet, tied for fifty fifth.

Tseng used to stay at Lake Nona — she purchased Sorenstam’s previous home — till shifting to California for simpler flights dwelling to Taiwan. This would be the first huge step again, and it’s an extended street.

“I believe it is a comeback from the depths,” stated Judy Rankin, a Corridor of Famer and longtime tv analyst. “She didn’t have many unhealthy experiences. And you then get mired in exhausting instances. You get to the place even in case you get a pair beneath par, you see a black cloud.

“She did a really sensible factor to get away,” Rankin added. “If she’s going to seek out it once more, she’s taken a great path to take a great break.”

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Extra AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports





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