Michelle Wie Defends her Title at the Canadian Open, Yani Tseng Will Challenge

Michelle Wie

Image by Keith Allison via Flickr

LPGA Tour leader Yani Tseng may be the Canadian Women’s Open favourite but Michelle Wie is bent on defending her title.

Taiwan’s 22-year-old golfer has dominate this season with four victories including her three victories in the last six events.

“World No. 1 has been my goal since I was 12,” Tseng said Wednesday. “To become No. 1 is very exciting.”

LPGA’s money list is topped by Tseng with $1.7 million. She has top-ten finishes of 9 in a total of 14 tournaments, a 269.3-yard average driving distance and ranks first in the scoring average with a score of 69.63. However, she has never won the Canadian Open which starts Thursday at Hillsdale Golf Club.

“I was so nervous because I didn’t know anything about the LPGA or anything about the field and playing the best players in the world,” she said of her debut. “But I learned a lot. I made double on the last hole. I lost a lot of money. That’s the first time I go ‘Wow, one shot makes a lot of difference on the LPGA Tour.’”

The Canadian Open was only the second win for the 21-year old Wie after being on tour for three years. On the other hand, Tseng already has five majors which include the Women’s British Open and the LPGA Championship this year.

“It is very motivating to see someone like Yani get really good over the last year and half,” said Wie, who will focus full-time on golf after she graduates in March from Stanford with a communications degree. “It’s kind of something I want to see about myself. I want someone to say next year how good I’ve become.”

Up to 19 of the top 20 players in the world will join the tournament, which still had a $2.25-million major price money, despite losing its major status in 2000.

Among the contenders are 2009 champion Suzann Pettersen and 2006 winner Cristie Kerr.