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Golf: Tseng leads strong LPGA field at Seaview

World number one Yani Tseng heads a strong field for this week's LPGA ShopRite Classic, the final tuneup for the LPGA Classic, second major of the women's golf season.

Taiwan's Tseng, winner of three titles this year, is coming off a third-round exit a fortnight ago in the Sybase Match Play Championship won by Azahara Munoz of Spain.

Even with that setback, Tseng leads the LPGA money list by more than $300,000. She is at number one in the world for the 68th straight week.

Tseng, who now lives in Orlando, Florida, in a house once owned by Swedish Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam, was the only golfer in Time Magazine's recently published "100 Most Influential People in the World" list.

Her effervescent personality along with her golf skills have made her one of the world's most marketable sportswomen, and Tseng has said she hopes to emulate Sorenstam and Mexico's Lorena Ochoa -- another now-retired former world number one -- by using her golf prowess and popularity to make a difference in other areas.

"I don't want to just be a good golfer. I want to be a good person like Annika and Lorena, too," she said. "They're helping out the LPGA and so many people around the world, and not just about golf."

The $1.5 million, 56-hole ShopRite tournament on the Bay course at Seaview Resort starts on Friday and features 21 of the top 25 in the world.

That includes the past eight 2012 tournament winners: Tseng, Ai Miyazato, Stacy Lewis, Sun Young Yoo, Angela Stanford, Jessica Korda and Munoz.

Tseng will be playing the Bay course for the third time since the tournament returned to the LPGA schedule.

She finished seventh last year, four shots behind winner Brittany Lincicome.

"The course is not very long, but it's very tricky," Tseng said. "There are shots there I don't feel comfortable with. To get to know that golf course well is very important.

"Some courses you play a couple of times and then you know, but not at Seaview. This one is tougher. But I think the course is great."

Lincicome, ranked 12th in the world, is also back to defend her title.

She carded a final-round 66 last year to post a one-stroke victory over Cristi Kerr and South Korean Jiyai Shin -- who is absent this week with a wrist injury.

bb/mdl

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