Tseng gives leaders a scare
Women's Australian Open Golf, day four
Jiyai Shin in action during the final round of the Women's Australian Open Golf at Royal Canberra, Yarralumla. Photo: Melissa Adams
The final round of the Women's Australian Open was dubbed a match-play contest between runaway leaders Jiyai Shin and Lydia Ko.
Somebody forgot to tell Yani Tseng. The Taiwanese star showed why she is world No.1 with an incredible late rally at Royal Canberra on Sunday.
Trailing eventual winner Shin and Ko by eight strokes at the start of the day, the 24-year-old carded a seven-under-par 66 to almost win a third Australian Open title.
Two strokes behind Shin heading to the 18th, Tseng's title hopes ended after she failed to capitalise on a booming drive when she made a poor approach shot.
She sprayed her second stroke left of the bunker and ran her third across the green, throwing her hands up in dismay as she watched her hopes disintegrate.
"Last hole I just tried a little bit too hard, I had 240 [metres] to the pin, 210 [metres] to the front [of the green] and can easily hit my 17 rescue there,'' she said.
"I felt like I wanted an eagle, but I just made the shot too complicated, it should be pretty simple.''
It was only after she birdied the par-three 13th that Tseng genuinely believed she could steal her third Patricia Bridges Bowl in four years.
"I just wanted to go out there and have fun, make as many birdies as I can, not about winning,'' she said.
"If I could finish top five or top 10 I was happy, I think that bogey [on the first hole] give me pump up a little bit, and that's why I made three birdies in a row.''
Tseng began her love affair with this country three years ago, when she claimed her first Australian Open title at Melbourne's Commonwealth Golf Club in 2010.
"The fans always give me 100 per cent support, they always gave me a clap even though I don't hit good shot,'' she said.
"I always feel very good and welcome here in Australia, I want to show my best out here.''
Tseng said 15-year-old amateur Ko, who dropped back to third with a three-over 76 after sharing the overnight lead, would learn from the experience.
"Yesterday we were talking about who is going to win, and we saw her playing well today, too,'' she said.
"She's hitting so consistently, and she just needs to play more tournaments.''