It's day two of the Canadian Womens Open golf tournament. Among the top golfers competing in Quebec is the best player you've probably never heard of. Shes number one ranked, Yani Tseng, from Taiwan. Tseng has been powering and smiling her way around golf courses. And as NPRs Tom Goldman reports, making history.

TOM GOLDMAN: Shes won five major championships. And shes 22. Tiger Woods was 24 when he won his fifth major. Legendary Patty Berg was 25. Berg holds the LPGA record with 15 grand slam titles. Yani Tseng has won most of her majors just since last year. What, you ask, is going on with this stocky, chatty young phenom who still counts beating her dad at golf?

Ms. YANI TSENG (Professional golfer): 2000s the year I beat my father.

GOLDMAN: As one of her career milestones? Whats going on was evident during an unremarkable, but telling few minutes I watched at last weekends LPGA tournament near Portland, Oregon.

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It was hole number seven during the 2nd round of the Safeway Classic. Tseng drove her tee shot into the sand of a fairway bunker. From there, she hit into thick rough. The old Yani wouldve walked up to her third shot with slumped shoulders and a sour face. Instead, waiting to hit, she glanced over, saw my son - she met him the day before - grinned and said hi. Then Tseng hit a beauty of a shot that landed five feet from the hole.

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She sank the putt for par and fist-bumped her caddie. It was a moment that wouldve made Gary Gilchrist proud. Gilchrist is Tsengs coach. Theyve worked a lot on her reactions to bad shots. How to accept them, move on, stay focused. From his home in Florida, Gilchrist says its paid off.

Mr. GARY GILCHRIST (Coach, Yani Tseng): You know, when she missed a fairway, shed make bogey. And then once she changed her attitude and her body language, she started making birdies.

GOLDMAN: Not that Tseng misses that much. Shes a golfing triple threat, with accuracy, touch and power.

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Her drives average a tour-best 269 yards.

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Unidentified Man: (Mandarin language spoken)

(Soundbite of whistle)

GOLDMAN: Yani j'eye yo(ph), in mandarin, roughly, go Yani go. Its a constant cry from the galleries that follow Tseng and a reminder about her fan base. Shes really big in Asia, especially her native Taiwan.

On a trip home after she won the British Open last month, Tseng kept getting stopped on the streets. Shes a household name there, but not here. It bothers her a bit. Come on, people: five majors. But such is life as a non-American on the U.S.-based LPGA tour a tour that has struggled in recent years, losing sponsors and its two best players - Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa - to retirement. But Yani Tseng is doing her part to connect with Americans with smiles and language.

Ms. TSENG: I talk too much. You know, I dont afraid to talk to people, so I just - we have conversation and I learn from some vocabulary, some grammar from you and thats how I learn the English.

GOLDMAN: A couple of years ago, as the numbers of top Asian players surged on the LPGA tour, former commissioner Carolyn Bivens proposed that athletes had to be proficient in English or face suspension. The controversial plan died quickly.

Tseng says embracing English isnt part of any directive. Rather, she says learning the language helps her feel comfortable and more relaxed on the golf course. All part of educating Yani.

Ms. TSENG: I feel like I still have a long way to go. Im 22 now and I need to work on lots of thing and just keep learning.

GOLDMAN: Twenty-two, five majors, still learning. Imagine the golf world when she finally gets it.

Tom Goldman, NPR News.

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