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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.
Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...
Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf
Jeremy is currently playing...
Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft
3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft
Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft
Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)
Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response
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