How Hall of Famer, tennis player inspired Yin to first LPGA title

How Hall of Famer, tennis player inspired Yin to first LPGA title
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Angel Yin has two inspirations to thank for her maiden LPGA victory: Hall of Famer Juli Inkster and tennis pro Andrey Rublev.

Yin, a 25-year-old who first joined the tour in 2017, has played on three Solheim Cup teams, including two for Inkster, but until Sunday had yet to win on the LPGA. Yin’s breakthrough finally came, though, as she avenged a playoff defeat to Lilia Vu back at the Chevron Championship in April by beating the world No. 1 in extra holes to win the Buick LPGA Shanghai.

Following her triumph at Qizhong Garden Golf Club, Yin spoke of a change in mindset, particularly with her emotions on the golf course where the long-hitting Yin is normally the opposite of her bubbly personality off the course.

Where Inkster comes in is some advice Yin’s former Solheim Cup captain has given her in the past.

“I’ve been speaking to Juli Inkster about it. I don’t really feel much emotions on the golf course,” Yin explained. “She was like, ‘No, that’s not good. I want you to get mad again.’ I got a lot of emotions and I think started doing again and I started playing well. That helped me a lot, to be able to be expressive and not just flat lining on the golf course.

“Growing up everyone taught me to be stone faced, no emotions, poker face. I don’t think that fits me. What fitting me right now is I’m doing to express myself.”

The light switch really came on this week in Shanghai thanks to a trip Saturday night to watch the semifinals of the Shanghai Masters, including a match between Rublev and Grigor Dimitrov.

“Just getting into tennis,” Yin said. “And I was watching the first match and then the second match, Rublev, and it was a really tough match between Dimitrov, and I just saw him like express himself very well on the court. It wasn’t like he was just completely emotionless. And I was like, you know, I’ve been thinking about that a lot last night, and then today I start out pretty mellow. Not much, kind of flat lining. Nothing was happening.

“I was like, you know what, I think I’m going to draw on my emotions.”

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