Yani Tseng, the #1 female golfer on this planet, may get a sponsor’s exemption to play in the PGA TOUR’s Puerto Rico Open. I’ve covered the Puerto Rico Open, which struggles to get a good field and major air time. It goes up against the World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship which is in Doral at the TPC Blue Monster, March 5-11. The WGC event pulls the top 50 players in the world, so the Puerto Rico Open struggles for sloppy seconds.
So a great way to create a buzz and generate a lot more media attention for the Puerto Rico Open would be to have the #1 female golfer in the world tee it up against the men. That is apparently the plan of the general chairman of the event, Sidney Wolf:
“Having the number one player here would open our event to a broader audience. It could open up the possibility of a LPGA event here, and ultimately help us raise funds for our charities. It would also create awareness of Puerto Rico globally, which would economically be very positive for the island.”
Tseng however, hasn’t accepted the exemption because strangely she hasn’t been contacted.
“It’s a little odd that this came through the media without Yani being contacted first about her interest. The Puerto Rico Open still hasn’t contacted anyone from Yani’s team. This is all coming to her indirectly through the media.” ~Ernie Huang, Tseng’s management team
Can Tseng Compete On The Course?
The PR Open is held at Trump International Golf Club, a fairly flat track with some rolling hills lining the holes. The length of the course is a massive 7,569 yards at SEA LEVEL. With an LPGA leading driving distance of 267.911 (yes they go three decimal points on the LPGA), that would put her at quite a disadvantage. The PGA TOUR average in driving distance is 290, and her 267.911 would be good enough for 187th place on tour in that category–dead last. Tseng would definitely need to rely on her short game and putting to make up for her distance disadvantage.
I’d like to see her go for it, if for no other reason than to give some buzz to the LPGA (which needs it badly). I’d give her a 50/50 shot at making the cut and might even srprise everyone with how well she does.
When is exactly this tournament date?
March 5-11 Xiao. Here’s the 2012 PGA TOUR schedule:
I think Yani could definitely play, and I have no doubt that she’d do reasonably well, but if she’s going to, she should probably play against the best possible field. Her advisor is probably right that she should concentrate on her achievements in the women’s game first.
Yani actually just declined Puerto Rico Open’s invitation. But then it’s a good thing as she will be focusing more on women’s tournaments.