(Note: The following was originally published by the author for Suite101.com.)
For the most part, any dicussion of an athlete being "the best in the world" is often reserved - right or wrong - for male sports figures. This is simply the way society works, and it will likely continue in this manner for many years to come. Blame the cavemen for this unfortunate reality.
Regardless, the LPGA TOUR's Yani Tseng is doing all she can to stake her claim as the best golfer on the planet... and possibly the best current female athlete, to boot.
Tseng Continues Her Dominance on TOUR
"I wish this year would never end." According to a recent article in Golfweek, those words spoken by Yani Tseng could be somewhat of an understatement. Tseng's 2011 season has been one for the ages thanks to a staggering 11 professional victories worldwide, including two majors - the LPGA Championship and Women's British Open.
Furthermore, Tseng's margin of victory has averaged 4.3 strokes from the rest of the field. Her most impressive win came at the LPGA Championship, which she dominated by an impressive ten shots.
LPGA TOUR Player of the Year Honors
For her efforts during the 2011 season, Tseng was also awarded the 2011 LPGA TOUR Player of the Year Award earlier this month. She was able to accomplish this feat in only her second year on TOUR. Furthermore, Tseng was able to accumulated enough points to earn the award despite the fact that three remaining events have yet to be played this season. Tseng also boasts a TOUR-leading $2.5 million in earnings this year, which has already made her a lock to capture the money title.
Tseng Awarded Sportswoman of the Year Award
According to the LPGA's homepage, Yani Tseng has also been awarded the Women's Sports Foundation's prestigious Sportswoman of the Year Award. This honor is granted to an individual female athlete that has proved to be the most influential throughout the year and spans all areas of athletics. Other nominees for the honor included US soccer star Abby Wambach and the US Ski Jumping Team.
There is no question that golf has a new superstar to call its own, even if this star comes from the unlikely arena of the LPGA TOUR. With any luck - and perhaps a change in the way many people direct their fandom - Tseng's dominance will receive the attention it deserves.
S. DiMeglio, "Tseng locks up LPGA player of the year honors", USA Today; accessed October 2011
"Victorious Tseng: 'I wish this season would never end.'", Golfweek; accessed October 2011.
"Yani Tseng Wins The Women's Sports Foundation's Sportswoman of the Year Award", LPGA.com; accessed October 2011.