LPGA Rookie of the Year race update: Park v Yin v Korda

Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Peiyun Chien has only the slightest edge over Laura Gonzalez Escallon in this season’s LPGA Rookie of the Year race but she’s holding an ace she doesn’t readily show. Yani Tseng is her mentor. In fact, Chien caddied for Tseng at the 2015 Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic.

Chien, like Tseng, calls Taiwan home – or is it now Chinese Taipei? She played a year on the LPGA-Taiwan pro tour and then in 2015 moved to the United States with her sights set on the biggest of women’s golf stages, the LPGA. It didn’t happen quickly for Chien.

She reached the final stage of the Tour’s 2015 Q-School but then missed the 72-hole cut. Her consolation prize was a year on the Symetra Tour, which didn’t  turn out too badly. She found a coach in San Deigo, got to work on her swing, and notched her first pro win at the Symetra Tour’s 2016 Kansas City Championship.

The Kansas City win, coupled with a string of 8 additional top 10s got Chien where she wanted to be, playing her rookie year on the LPGA Tour. She’s made 9 starts so far, played the weekend 4 times, and her best 2017 finish to date was a T11 at the Kia Classic.

Watch for Peiyun Chien – she might get paired with Yani at this year’s Swinging Skirts!