Nov
2
2011
Yani’s Adviser: “Not likely Yani will play against men in the near future”
By Stephanie Wei under LPGA

Yani to PR Open: Thanks, but I'm focusing on the LPGA

As first reported by Golfweek, Sidney Wolf, the general chairman of the Puerto Rico Open, expressed his intention to offer women’s No. 1 golfer Yani Tseng an invitation to play in his event next March. Last week Yani expressed interest in competing against the men on the PGA Tour. Yani is in transit back to the U.S. from her native Taiwan and can’t be reached, but in an e-mail statement to this site (which was first sent to Golfweek), Ernie Huang, Yani’s adviser, said while he hasn’t spoken to her yet, he doesn’t expect Yani to tee it up on the PGA Tour anytime soon.

The full statement:

We learned about the invite from many sources, but not directly from event organizer.  This is my personal opinion:   I would say it’s not likely Yani will play against men in the near future. She has other priorities such as to complete Grand Slam and to qualify Hall of Fame.  To play in PGA Tour now will be too much distraction for her.

She was asked in Taiwan whether she was interested in playing in PGA Tour tournament.  She was asked again last week in Suzhou where she said  “If an opportunity presents itself, I would like to play in a PGA tournament to learn more from male golfers.” As you know, the story has been spreading to US media rapidly and has created lots media interest.

Yani has always been enjoying competition since she was a little girl.  Due to her length, she competes often with boys while she was growing up. Whenever she has a chance, she competes from the same tee with her coach Tony Kao who has an Asian PGA card and non-exempt European tour playing.  Yani always challenge herself to be the best she can be.  She thinks playing again men will help her to improve her overall game.

Probably a smart move to pass right now. If she did accept and it went the wrong way, it could impede the milestones she wants to reach on the LPGA.

And I agree that playing/practicing with men will challenge and improve her game. Which goes for just about every woman who grew up playing competitive golf. (Since I was the only girl at the local muni when I first picked up the game, I solely played with the boys which boosted my level of play quicker.) Yani is probably looking for the next test, but when the time is right.

(AP Photo/Wally Santana)