TAIPEI, Taiwan — Yani Tseng’s two-year run as the top-ranked female golfer may come to an end soon, as she was trailing 13 shots behind world No. 3 American Stacy Lewis after the third round of the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup in Phoenix on Saturday.
Tseng shot an even par in the round, pushing her three-round total to two-under 214, while Lewis was tied at second with a 15-under 201, four strokes behind Ai Miyazato of Japan. World No. 2 Choi Na Yeon was tied at 40th with a seven-under 209.
Tseng has held the top female golfer ranking for 109 consecutive weeks but has not secured a win in her last 22 LPGA events. She now averages 9.33 ranking points per tournament, while Choi averages 8.71 and Lewis 8.70, according to the latest Women’s World Golf Rankings.
If Lewis wins the tournament and Tseng fails to finish in the top two, the 24-year-old Taiwanese could topple from the top spot, according to an AP report.
Lewis moved up one notch in the rankings after she won the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore earlier this month, taking her sixth career LPGA title.
However, Tseng, the event’s defending champion, said in a recent interview with AP that she was not worried about losing the top spot, because holding the honor has been “tough and lonely.”
She said she just wants to enjoy each game and try to regain her childhood enthusiasm for the sport.
Her compatriot Candie Kung, who was tied for third with a six-under 66 after the opening round, was sharing the 18th spot Saturday with four other players with a three-round total of 10-under 206.