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Chinese golf sensation Yin Ruoning becomes new women’s world No.1


Yin Ruoning plays her tee shot on the 6th hole during the Queen City Championship at the Kenwood Country Club in Cincinnati, U.S., September 10, 2023. /CFP

Yin Ruoning plays her tee shot on the 6th hole during the Queen City Championship at the Kenwood Country Club in Cincinnati, U.S., September 10, 2023. /CFP

Yin Ruoning plays her tee shot on the 6th hole during the Queen City Championship at the Kenwood Country Club in Cincinnati, U.S., September 10, 2023. /CFP

China’s wunderkind Yin Ruoning, at the tender age of 20, has emulated the achievements of her esteemed predecessor, Feng Shanshan, by ascending to the pinnacle of the golfing world.  

In doing so, she has become the second female golfer from the Chinese mainland to attain this remarkable distinction, following in the footsteps of Feng, who held the top position from November 2017 to April 2018. 

Yin, in her pursuit of surpassing American Lilia Vu for the coveted top spot, faced the imperative of securing a top-four finish in the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) Queen City Championship in Cincinnati on Sunday.  

In a display of exceptional composure, she finished third behind Australia’s Minjee Lee and England’s Charley Hull. The result catapulted Yin to the summit, marking the fifth different golfer to climb to the first place in the world this year. 

“For me, it’s like dream come true,” beamed Yin after the breakthrough. “I’ve got goosebumps. My mind is blank right now … Before this week, I know [depending on] what position I finish, I can be the world No.1. I just keep that in my mind.” 

“World No.1 is the big step on the way to chasing Shanshan,” she added. “I didn’t get a lot of chance to chat with Shanshan, but I’m looking forward to going back to China and play the Asian Games and spend more time with her, considering she’s the head coach on our national team.”

Yin Ruoning holds a check she was awarded after winning the LPGA's LA Open golf tournament in Palos Verdes Estates, U.S., April 2, 2023. /CFP

Yin Ruoning holds a check she was awarded after winning the LPGA’s LA Open golf tournament in Palos Verdes Estates, U.S., April 2, 2023. /CFP

Yin Ruoning holds a check she was awarded after winning the LPGA’s LA Open golf tournament in Palos Verdes Estates, U.S., April 2, 2023. /CFP

A meteoric rise 

During her formative years, Yin engaged in various sporting pursuits, with a particular fondness for basketball, before ultimately devoting herself entirely to the realm of golf.  

At 18, she demonstrated her incredible talent by asserting her dominance over the China LPGA Tour, triumphing in three consecutive events as she embarked upon her professional journey. Following a relatively subdued inaugural year in 2022, Yin’s perseverance bore fruit as she clinched her maiden victory on the LPGA Tour at the LA Open in April. 

In June, Yin etched her name into the annals of Chinese sports history by clinching a monumental victory at the Women’s PGA Championship. This extraordinary accomplishment marks the second major win by a player from the Chinese mainland, following Feng’s breakthrough in 2012. 

Since her retirement from professional golf in August 2022, Feng has undeniably served as the epitome of what Yin aspires to imitate. “Feng is a senior golfer that I hold in high regard,” Yin said in July. “I have been trying to match her achievements… Being a Major champion is pretty exciting, but that’s the past. I’m looking forward to the next one.”

Yin Ruoning poses with the PGA Trophy after winning the Women's PGA Championship at the Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey, U.S., June 25, 2023. /CFP

Yin Ruoning poses with the PGA Trophy after winning the Women’s PGA Championship at the Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey, U.S., June 25, 2023. /CFP

Yin Ruoning poses with the PGA Trophy after winning the Women’s PGA Championship at the Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey, U.S., June 25, 2023. /CFP

Striving for more 

Part of the Chinese women’s golf team that bagged a bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Yin has eloquently expressed her sincere desire to represent China in the major tournaments.  

When discussing her aspirations for the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou and the Olympic Games in Paris, Yin emphasized that she and her teammates share a singular objective: to witness the triumphant sight of China’s national flag ascending and to hear the strains of the national anthem resounding in celebration of their success.  

“The Olympics is the tournament I most want to play,” she observed last month. “It’s such a great honor to represent your country, so I’ll keep working on my game … I’m playing smarter than before. The most important thing is to stay patient and believe in myself.”



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