Tseng rides her luck to keep Kerr at bay

There was a moment on the 15th hole during her second round at the Ricoh Women's British Open here yesterday when Yani Tseng confessed: "I wanted to kill myself."

Golf has a habit of doing that to a person even when he or she – or that should be, especially when he or she – is holding a commanding lead in a major.

Fortunately for all involved, the suicidal thoughts abated and Tseng felt able to stride forward into a four-shot clubhouse advantage over a pack containing the mighty American Cristie Kerr. The Taiwanese rode her luck and rode away, only stopping afterwards to consider the break which broke her free.

The 21-year-old sliced her second shot on the par-five towards the gorse. Convinced it was a goner, she reloaded. "My provisional went 30 yards right of my first," she said. Plainly devastated, Tseng marched up to the rough, expecting to march straight back again to play a third ball, but was delighted to discover her original effort had located a clear patch. She was soon signing for a second successive 68 to stand at eight-under.

Annika Sorenstam would have approved. At the start of the season, the Swede advised Tseng how to become the world No 1. It consisted of the usual "stay patient, don't go for every pin" lines. This was not completely altruistic on the Swede's behalf as the girl was in the process of buying her house in Orlando. And as anyone in the desperate environs of Florida real estate would confirm, "whatever it takes". "Annika told me I had to fill the trophy room, but it's huge," Tseng said. "It looks so empty."

Seeing as Sorenstam won more than 90 titles over the 16 years which represent one of the game's most successful careers, Tseng has some catching up to do and perhaps it will be better for her ego if she picks on someone her own age. Step forward, Michelle Wie. Yesterday the Hawaiian followed up a hugely encouraging 70 with a 76 to fall to the middle reaches of the leaderboard. All the hype of the night previous had transmogrified once more into tripe.

Tseng might conclude it was ever thus with the Hawaiian 10 months her junior. In 2004, Tseng beat Wie in the final of the US Women's Public Links. Yet while the loser was built up into a global superstar, turning pro the next year as a 16-year-old, Tseng followed a more cautious path. She remained an amateur until she was 18 and then started on the Asian and Canadian Tours.

Which route worked? Money-grabbing or experience-gaining? Well, Tseng is the world No 5 and already has two majors to her name and Wie has not enjoyed a top-10 finish in a major in four years.

Alas, it wasn't just Wie nursing the bruises of golf's traditional backlash. There is not a Briton in the top 20 and last year's champion, Catriona Matthew, suffered a 10 – that included an air shot – on the par-four 13th. The Scot was close to tears as her defence ended in humiliation at 12-over. "Supermum" had been force-fed 81 shots of Kryptonite.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor