Tseng may earn Puerto Rico Open invite
If Yani Tseng wants to play against men, the Puerto Rico Open would be happy to help her.
Sidney Wolf, the tournament’s general chairman, told Golfweek that he intends to offer Tseng an exemption into his event in 2012. The PGA Tour event, which has been played since 2008, will be held March 8-11, 2012, opposite the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.
Tseng, the world’s No. 1 female player and winner of 11 events this year, said last week, "If an opportunity presents itself, I would like to play in a (PGA Tour) tournament to learn more from male golfers."
Wolf said he has yet to contact Tseng’s camp about a potential exemption. She is in Taiwan this week. Her adviser, Ernie Huang, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to Golfweek research, there is no LPGA event currently scheduled for that week. The LPGA has yet to release its 2012 schedule.
Wolf told Golfweek, "Having the No. 1 player here would open our event to a broader audience. It could open up the possibilty of a LPGA event here, and ultimately help us raise funds for our charities. It would also creates awareness of Puerto Rico globally, which would economically be very positive for the island."
Wolf, also the president of the Puerto Rico Golf Association, has long been trying to increase visibility for his event, which began in 2008.
Trump International Golf Club – Puerto Rico, which hosts the Puerto Rico Open, is listed at 7,569 yards, but plays about 7,200 yards during the tournament, Wolf said. LPGA courses typically play about 6,500 yards. Trump International’s scorecard scorecard lists six par-4s that are 448 yards or longer, but the course has relatively few forced carries, Wolf said.
Tseng previously competed in Puerto Rico during the 2004 World Amateur Team Championship. She finished fourth in the individual competition, five shots behind Julieta Granada and Karin Sjodin, at Rio Mar Country Club in Rio Grande.
"It would a great honor to have Yani play here during the celebration of our fifth anniverasy of the Puerto Rico Open," Wolf said. "She has the length to compete, and being that she lives in Florida she is used to the wind."
Annika Sorenstam was the world’s No. 1 woman when she competed against the men at the 2003 Bank of America Colonial. She shot 71-74 to miss the cut by four shots.