Taiwan's Tseng seeking Open hat-trick

by Elspeth Burnside, Agence France-Presse

Posted at Sep 13 2012 11:37 AM | Updated as of Sep 13 2012 07:37 PM

HOYLAKE - Taiwan's Yani Tseng has her sights set on making history on Thursday when she begins an attempt to win the Women's British Open for a third year in a row at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

At just 23, Tseng has dominated women's golf for the past couple of seasons, winning five majors and reigning supreme at the head of the world rankings.

However, this summer, she has suffered a bit of a setback, missing a few cuts, including the Evian Masters in France.

But she admitted she has gained inspiration from the men's world No.1, Rory McIlroy.

"He also struggled for a couple of months so I watched his interviews and I have learned a lot from him," she said. "He said he got back to enjoying and focusing on his own game.

"He also said he had to remember how he loved the game as a kid. That's the same with me. We are both living the dream so there is no reason to become stressed on the golf course.

"This year I have been too hard on myself. I need to enjoy myself on the course again and that's what I'm going to do this week."

After winning at Royal Birkdale two years ago and then successfully defending the title at Carnoustie, Tseng relishes the prospect of a record-breaking hat-trick.

"After what I've been through this year, winning this week would be the best trophy ever," she claimed. "And the tougher the better as far as the weather is concerned.

"I've put a three iron in my bag for the first time ever in my professional career because I think I will need it to keep the ball low in the wind. But I just love the course and I love links golf."

Lydia Ko, the 15-year-old amateur who won the Canadian Open and become the youngest ever winner on the LPGA Tour last month, admitted that Royal Liverpool presents a whole new challenge.

"It's one of the hardest courses I've ever played," said the New Zealand-based South Korean. "I consider myself quite straight off the tee. But, in practice, I kept going into the rough. It was really windy."

Stacy Lewis, the American world No.2, reckons that Ko could easily be a contender this week. "She's won already on Tour so she's definitely good enough to do it again," said this season's two-time LPGA winner.

For Lewis, it is a first visit to the course. "This is my third British Open and I've improved every year," said the 27-year-old who helped the US win the 2008 Curtis Cup over the Old Course at St Andrews.

"I've been practising the little bump and run shots and I just have to what Tiger (Woods) did here in the 2006 Open Championship and stay out of the bunkers."

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