Tseng focused on ranking after rejecting $25m

Thu, 21 Oct 14:32:00 2010

Taiwanese golfer Yani Tseng has brushed aside the matter of nationality getting in the way of a $25 million (15.8m) contract - though she refused to slam the door on the possibility of adopting Chinese citizenship in the future.

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The 21-year-old world number four was approached last month with the enormous five-year contract offer, which also included use of private jets and a luxury villa in Beijing, according to Taiwanese media reports.

But a stipulation of the deal was that Tseng had to change her nationality to Chinese, prompting the golfer's father to say that the deal was rejected straight away.

China and Taiwan have been ruled separately since 1949 when defeated Nationalist forces fled to the island following the Communist victory in a civil war.

Tseng has insisted that the subject of her nationality, and any sponsorship deals it affected, was secondary to her sole aim of improving enough to claim the world number one spot.

"I don't know if I'm qualified to receive so much money, I don't know if I'm that capable," Tseng said when asked about the sponsorship offer.

"I hope in the future my results can be better or I've reached my target of becoming the world's number one. I think it's still not too late to decide when that time comes.

"It doesn't matter which country I'm playing in, I feel that I'm bringing glory to ethnic Chinese across the world and I'm proud to be a Chinese," she added.

Tseng had her first golf lesson with her parents at the age of five and in 2008 became the youngest player to win the LPGA Championship.

Talking about the latest move by the LPGA to add Taiwan to the season next year, Tseng said she saw great potential in Taiwan, Japan and Korea.

"Asian golfers are playing well and I think this gives competition to the United States and it shows that Asian players are very talented and ambitious - we try to win every competition," she said.

Tseng is in Malaysia to compete in next week's Sime Darby LPGA tournament.

Reuters

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