Golfing stars Tseng and Woods named as USSA Athletes of the Month
Friday, 20 April 2012
April 20 - The United States Sports Academy's (USSA) March Athletes of the Month awards have been claimed by two golfing greats, Tiger Woods and Yani Tseng.
American Woods, a winner of 14 majors, broke a run of 31 tournaments without success when winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in March.
His last win had been at the 2009 BMW Championships, and it helped him move into sixth in the PGA rankings, the first time in over a year he has been in the top 10.
Woods beat off tough competition from American heptathlete Ashton Eaton, who had set a world record in Istanbul at the World Indoor Championships and was runner-up for the USSA March award.
Joint third were Argentine two-time FIFA World Player of the Year Leo Messi, who broke the Barcelona goalscoring record, as well as the UEFA Champions League record for the most goals in a single match last month, and Caitlin Leverenz, another American who was the top performer at the NCAA Swimming Championships.
Tseng (pictured below), who was the female USSA Athlete of the Year for 2011, won the Kia Classic in California in March before claiming the LPGA Founders Cup in Phoenix, Arizona after coming from three strokes behind to claim victory.
The Taiwanese golfer now has 15 career wins on the LPGA tour, and has claimed three titles in 2012 so far, cementing her lead over Na Yeon Choi at the top of the rankings.
The youngest ever golfer, male or female, to win five major championships, she is also the second golfer to pick up the award in as many months after American teenager Jessica Korda claimed the February honour for winning her first LPGA golf tournament.
Tseng's award came despite the feats of United States skiing champion Lindsey Vonn, who dominated the Alpine World Cup this season and won the overall title, and came second on the public ballot.
Yelena Isinbayeva, Russia's pole vaulting double Olympic champion, who set a world record at the World Indoor Championships as she claimed the title for the fourth time at the event, and Nataliya Dobrynska, who defeated Britain's former champion Jessica Ennis and reigning heptathlon world champion Tatyana Chernova in Istanbul, were also overlooked in favour of Tseng.
The public vote for the USSA Athlete of the Month takes place at the start of every month, and Tseng and Woods will now be considered for the overall 2012 Athlete of the Year award.
April 2012: Messi and Isinbayeva favourites for March USSA Athlete of the Month awards