An extended off-season break helped rekindle the desire for Amy Yang, and on Sunday, she converted excellent early-season LPGA form into victory in Thailand
South Korea’s Amy Yang, whose rookie season on the LPGA Tour was 2008, is reaping the rewards of her decision to take an extended break over the winter period, having declared she was tired of what she was doing after finishing 5th in the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship at the end of October, 2014.
In her first outing of 2015, she finished 5th in late January’s Coates Golf Championship, and last week she finished 2nd in the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, losing out by two to teenage sensation, Lydia Ko.
This week, with Ko staying on for the ISPS Women’s New Zealand Open (which she also won!) Yang took full advantage of her absence to win the Honda LPGA Thailand by two strokes from Mirim Lee, Yani Tseng and Stacey Lewis.
Yang and Lewis shared the lead heading into the 15th, but while former world number one, Lewis, stumbled to a double bogey, Yang made a birdie for a crucial three-shot swing that gave her a little breathing space over the final three holes.
Not that Yang was thinking of it like that: “We had three more holes to go and they’re not easy,” Yang replied when asked if she thought victory was virtually assured after that three-shot swing. “So I just kept focusing.”
Yang’s extended winter break clearly had the desired effect, for when she did return to the fray in late January, she found that the old desire and motivation was back.
It was Yang’s second LPGA victory, with the first coming in the 2013 LPGA KEB HanaBank Championship on home soil.
Prior to joining the LPGA, Yang played on the Ladies’ European Tour for three years, winning three times, the first as a 16-year-old amateur in the 2006 ANZ Ladies’ Masters.
The icing on the cake of such a great start to 2015 for Yang is that she now tops the LPGA money list by nearly $100,000 with earnings of $412,358, and climbs into the top 10 of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.