Yani Tseng (Pre-championship interview)

July 3, 2012

THE MODERATOR:  So far in 2012, Yani Tseng has won three official events on the LPGA Tour.  Her best finish in the U.S. Women's Open was a tie for 10th in 2010.  Yani, what is the one missing ingredient in your play in the U.S. Women's Open that can take you over the top?  

YANI TSENG:  I think it's nerves, nerves and pressure, because the very first tournament I watch is the U.S. Open when I was 13.  And that year Juli Inkster won.  So even now I still have that great memory when I was 13.  So every year when I come to the U.S. Open I always feel more nerves and more pressure on this tournament.  When I was 13 my dream was playing the U.S. Open.  Now I'm trying to think to winning the U.S. Open.  It's a very big step for me to think this way.  

So I've been learning many, many years.  And this is my seventh, eighth U.S. Open.  It's getting better.  My best is Oakmont, finish 10th.  So I was very happy.  In this year I feel really good.  This year I come out here, I feel like I'm going to have lots of fun and enjoy the crowd.  Doesn't matter how good I play, but I think I will have fun this week.  

THE MODERATOR:  You've struggled a little bit in the past two weeks.  You were among the top 50 and then you missed a cut.  Have you made any changes coming into this championship?  

YANI TSENG:  Yeah, I do.  Like the last two months, couple of months I've been a little struggling.  I try to not think too much.  I had a missed cut last week.  I think it's good for me.  Give me a little break and take a rest.  And ready for the U.S. Open, because this week is a long week.  Just gotta be very patient and I just try not to think about it much.  When I get here I'm very exciting.  I can't wait to start on Thursday.  

Q.  Everyone I've been talking with the past couple of weeks has been talking about how long the course is and how difficult the length is going to make the U.S. Open this year.  Do you agree it's going to be the most challenging aspect of the tournament?  If not, what's going to be the most significant challenge? 

YANI TSENG:  I think the course longer it's better for me.  I wish if they can put every tee on the back, I'm happy with that.  The most important on this course is the second shot, how you're hitting on the green with the spot because the green was huge and there's so many slope on the green was really hard to putt on this golf course.  So I think you just got to be patient.  Going to make a couple of 3‑putt.  But everybody is going to make 3‑putt on this golf course, I think.  Be patient is part of the most important thing to play in the Major, and I think the golf course is great.  I played 9 today and 9 yesterday and I really enjoy playing on this course.  

Q.  When you look back at the last couple of weeks, is it more a mental thing when you try to dissect what's going wrong?  

YANI TSENG:  It's more about the mental things.  Because my coach Gary was here with me like these couple of weeks.  He said even my swing now can win in the tournament.  So it must be my mental.  Because sometimes when I start on tee I still worry about if my ball is going to hit right or left.  

But I feel good this week, actually.  I feel very good.  I feel very peaceful, and thankful for playing the Open.  There's so many I can achieve.  The past year how much I've done to winning many tournaments and winning lots of things, it's very thankful for this.  

Q.  Do you think about winning the career Grand Slam, and if so, what do you think?  

YANI TSENG:  Yes, of course.  It's hard to not think about, because everybody is talking about it.  But like I say, I'm not worried about what's my result this week, because I just going to have fun.  To have fun and enjoy the Open.  It's very different than the other tournaments.  Enjoy the golf course.  There's a big crowd here.  It's really hard.  But try to not think about a result and just think about the process.  I think that's the most important thing for me this week.  

Q.  Is that something you've learned from your previous Opens?  

YANI TSENG:  Yes.  I've been learning a lot.  I think like this many U.S. Open I play, it's give me lots more experience.  I mean, it helps a lot.  Every year I've been more calm and more ‑‑ less pressure, less nerves.  So this year I feel great.  

THE MODERATOR:  You say the Women's Open is very different from other tournaments.  One thing being the number of spectators.  When you go to Asia you're a rock star and you have huge numbers of fans come out.  So how in other ways is the U.S. Women's Open different?  

YANI TSENG:  The history.  The history, the traditional, all the best players have won the U.S. Open.  It's just a wonderful experience when you step on the first tee and they announce your name, where you're from, where's your country.  It's just feels very different than other tournaments.  

In other ways this is my first tournament I ever watched.  I was 13, and I was holding the flag to get all the players' autograph.  I still have a very, very good memory here.  Either you're outside the ropes or you're inside the ropes to play, you're going to have so much fun around here. 

THE MODERATOR:  So you attended this championship when you were 13?  

YANI TSENG:  No, I just ‑‑ I come and watch.  We had four or five Taiwanese players (come here).  When you're a junior, you can get hotdog and soft drink and free ticket to come in here.  It was so much fun.  First time I came here I just tour, I say I want to play this tournament.  It looks so much fun.  

THE MODERATOR:  You played with Na Yeon Choi on and Suzann Pettersen.  Is that a good paring for you?  

YANI TSENG:  It's perfect.  Both of them we're very good friends.  I played with Suzann in the practice rounds and we're going to start betting this week.  I think it's going to be so much fun playing with them.  We kind of push each other to get better.  When she hit a good shot, I want to hit better than her. 

Q.  Yani, do you sometimes ‑‑ you talk about focusing on the process instead of the result.  Is it sometimes too easy for to you start thinking about results and not thinking about I meant playing well but the numbers aren't coming?  

YANI TSENG:  Yeah, it's very easy to say, but it's very hard to do.  I've been learning this play one shot at a time many, many years and still couldn't do it 100 percent on the course.  One shot at a time, just how much you can commit on the course, I guess.  If I have 80 percent commit on the golf course playing one shot at a time, that's perfect.  So it's very hard to commit every shot and play your best, play one shot at a time for the whole day.  

So you need to think that way, that's your goal.  So I've been learning a lot from the mistakes.  The harder you try, the worser you get.  

THE MODERATOR:  All right, Yani, good luck to you.  And thanks for being with us.  

YANI TSENG:  Thanks.  


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