Yani Tseng was awarded the LPGA Rolex Player of the Year after a race that wasn’t decided until the finish of the season-ending Tour Championship on Sunday. She entered the week with the lead on the points standings, but it was still possible for Cristie Kerr or Na Yeon Choi to overtake her The 21-year-old from Taiwan won three events in 2010, including two of the LPGA’s four majors — the Kraft Nabisco Championship and the British Women’s Open.
At the awards ceremony at Grand Cypress, Yani gave a moving speech (even GC’s Jerry Foltz, who was emceeing, teared up!), expressing how much the honor meant to her and thanking her parents for their support. “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 (overwhelming) because I never thought I would be holding the trophy, winning Player of the Year,” she said.
Earlier in the week, I caught up with Yani to get to know her a little better. It only takes a minute to realize that she’s a cool and funny girl with tons of personality. (And yes, she speaks English quite well! — much better than my rusty Mandarin at the moment.)
Check it out… This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.