|Yani Tseng of Taiwan hits a tee shot on the tenth hole during second round play at the LPGA Safeway Classic in North Plains, Oregon August 18, 2012. (Steve Dipaola/REUTERS)
CALGARY - Picking a winner doesn’t come easy in a golf tournament.
So the good folks of the Vancouver Golf Club have more than a few favourites in mind when the LPGA Tour makes its stop beginning Thursday for the 2012 CN Canadian Women’s Open.
First and foremost, a Canadian taking the title would be ideal.
“Wouldn’t that be nice?” said tournament chairman Paul Batchelor, a seven-year member of the 6,783-yard club in Coquitlam, B.C.
“But if it was my wish-list, I’d want the top 15 to be a good mix of players from Canada, the U.S. and Asia with a couple of young up-and-coming stars in there.
“That would be awesome.”
One particular LPGA star stands out for Batchelor and club members because of her previous success at the Coquitlam course.
That’s No. 1-ranked Yani Tseng.
“We saw her win her first professional event here in 2007,” said Batchelor of Tseng’s victory in a CN Canadian Women’s Tour event at the Vancouver Golf Club.
The triumph earned her a berth in the Canadian championship later that summer, in which Tseng carded the sixth best score at Edmonton’s Royal Mayfair Golf Club.
And the rest is history for her …
Last year at age 22, she became the youngest golfer — male or female — to collect five career majors.
This season, Tseng’s won three events to give her the top ranking on tour, even though she’s struggled in the last five events — missing the cut three times — leading up to this weekend’s Safeway Classic in North Plains, Ore.
“Members got to know Yani when she was here,” Batchelor said.
“To see her where she is today is so exciting — it’s really special for us. Maybe this tournament will help turn around her year.”