This week's Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship, the second leg of LPGA's annual Asian swing, features a whopping six current and former Rolex Rankings No. 1 players, including local favourite Yani Tseng, New Zealand star player Lydia Ko, American veteran Cristie Kerr, Thai player Ariya Jutanugarn, American player Stacy Lewis and current no. 1 So Yeon Ryu of South Korea. Both Ko and Tseng are no strangers to the privileges and pressure that come with being the "no. 1 player in the world." Yani even humbly said she did not adjust to the pressure as well as Lydia did.
Yani Tseng (from L to R), Sei Young Kim, Brittany Lincicome and Lydia Ko pose for a group photo in front of an installation artwork with the theme of "Journey to the West".
"It's a position that we all dream about and work so hard for," said Ko, referring to the much coveted Rolex World rankings No. 1 position. " When you are No. 1, you are expected to be at the top of the leader board every week," revealed Ko, who also said she felt very honoured to be able to play in her national (New Zealand) Open when she was the top lady golfer in the world.
Yani also echoed the sentiment by saying that she felt lucky to win the inaugural LPGA Taiwan Championship in 2011 as a No. 1 player in the world. Yani added that she is always especially inspired and motivated when she comes back to Taiwan to play in the LPGA Taiwan Championship. "I have learned a lot from both sitting in that position and being out of that position, and honestly, I miss that spot... When your game starts to come together, your world ranking and everything else will sort itself out."
During a pre-tournament Meet & Greet press event today, Tseng, Ko, South Korea's Sei Young Kim and American player Brittany Lincicome were given a chance to not only taste authentic bubble tea from Taiwan, but also make bubble tea with their own hands. Ko said she loved her own bubble tea, while Yani confirmed that the bubble tea she made with the natural ingredients provided by tournament sponsor Milk Shop tasted much better than the bubble tea she makes at home.
Yani Tseng (from L to R), Sei Young Kim, Lydia Ko and Brittany Lincicome enjoy authentic bubble tea they made with their own hands.
The foursome also got a taste of the 3D artwork and amazing installation art pieces created by Taiwanese artists Ash Chen and Hong Yi. Lydia Ko let out a big "Wow" when she saw how three-dimensional the foursome looked in a photo after they posed on top of a "3D magic sticker mat".
Sei Young Kim (from L to R), Lydia Ko, Brittany Lincicome and Yani Tseng pose for a group photo on a "3D magic sticker"
Kim, on the other hand, said she managed to practice for nine holes today at the Miramar Golf and Country Club, but "the golf course played much longer after heavy rain last week. But overall I am very happy to play in this golf course."
When asked how to pace herself with a hectic LPGA schedule that takes her on a globe-trotting tour, Lincicome jokingly replied "I drink a lot of bubble tea!" On a more serious note, she emphasized that she tries to get as much as rest as possible when she is on tour. "It's going to be a long week ahead," said the American who won the season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic in January.