You’ve heard of a hometown hero. Yani Tseng isn’t from Beaumont, Calif., and she doesn’t currently live here – but to the residents of this small town and those associated with Oak Valley Golf Club, it doesn’t matter.
Tseng, who currently has lone possession of the lead at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, practiced and trained here at Oak Valley for two years before winning her first LPGA event – the 2008 McDonald’s LPGA Championship Presented by Coca-Cola. In the clubhouse hangs two large photos of Tseng with her first LPGA trophy containing a hand-written message thanking Oak Valley and the staff for their ongoing support.
This is my fourth trip to Oak Valley Golf Club. I always knew that Yani meant a lot to the staff and patrons of the club but I didn’t realize how much until today.
As we were preparing for the first round of the Preseason Junior at Oak Valley, local Yani supporters gathered at the clubhouse to have breakfast before departing for Mission Hills. About 70 people with “Friends of Yani” embroidered on their shirts, were preparing to do their part in supporting what is their town’s small tie to a big name on Tour.
“We are really proud of Yani,” said Karen Rice, a frequent player at Oak Valley. “We are hoping to watch her jump in the pond tomorrow!”
Seems as though the support worked today, with Tseng carding a 66 in the third round of play. The “Friends of Yani” posse plans to go through the same routine tomorrow, starting with breakfast and hopefully ending with splash.