Female Chinese Golf Players
In recent decades the People's Republic of China and Taiwan -- officially the Republic of China -- have produced numerous world class athletes in many sports, and golf is no exception. A number of Chinese women have found success around the golfing world, including the LPGA Tour. PGA pro Robert Karlsson, in an article published on Jan. 10, 2012, on ChinaDaily.com, asserted that the number of Chinese people who play golf is expected to grow from 300,000 to 20 million by 2020. "Some see women golfers at the vanguard of the Chinese surge to prominence," Karlsson wrote.
Yani Tseng, born in Taiwan in 1989, was the Women’s Sports Foundation’s 2011 athlete of the year after rising to No. 1 in the women’s world golf rankings by age 22. She began playing as a 6-year-old with her father, Tony Kao, as her coach. She was Taiwan’s top-ranked amateur from 2004 through 2006.
Her amateur victories included a final-match win over Morgan Pressel at the 2005 North & South Women’s Amateur Championship. Tseng turned pro in 2007, a season during which she won once on the Asian Golf Tour and once on the CN Canadian Women’s Tour. She finished sixth in the 2007 LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament to earn her tour card for the 2008 LPGA season. She was the LPGA rookie of the year in 2008 and won five major tournaments over the next four years, including the Women’s British Open in 2010 and 2011, the LPGA Championship in 2008 and 2011, and the Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2010. She was the LPGA Tour player of the year in 2010 and 2011.
Shanshan Feng was born in 1989 in Beijing. She began playing golf at age 10.
Among her amateur highlights were victories in the 2004 China Junior Open, the 2006 China Women’s Amateur Open and the 2004 through 2006 China Amateur Tournament.
She tied for ninth at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament in 2007, gaining exempt status for LPGA’s 2008 season. Feng earned $472,758 in her rookie LPGA season, finished in the top 10 at five tournaments and was second at the Bell Micro LPGA Classic. She added four LPGA top-10 finishes in both 2010 and 2011.
Candie I-Ping Kung was born in 1981 in Taiwan. She took up golf when she moved to the United States, where she became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1995. Kung played on the University of Southern California golf team, earning All-American honors twice, then joined the LPGA Tour in 2002.
She won three tournaments in 2003 and one in 2008, and placed second at the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open. Through 2011 she had won more than $5 million in her pro golf career.
Amy Hung was born in 1980 in Taiwan. She began playing golf at age 8 and later became the junior world champion in the 12-year-old division.
Hung won 50 amateur and pro titles from 1998 to 2003, according to her website, then joined the LPGA Tour in 2004. She had earned more than $1.2 million as a professional through 2011.
M.L. Rose has worked as a print and online journalist for more than 20 years. He has contributed to a variety of national and local publications, specializing in sports writing. Rose holds a B.A. in communications.