By Kent Gray
Angel Yin has played the role of joker, interviewer and interviewee during a laughter-filled first three rounds at the OMEGA Dubai Ladies Classic.
For the first 36-holes the female equivalent of a Bromance flourished between the 19-year-old Californian and Anne Vam Dam, helped along the way by Yin’s Solheim Cup pal Brittany Lincicome who was the third member of their free-wheeling and big-hitting threesome.
Yin and Dam were split up for Friday’s third round but not before the former was asked to play journalist and interview her new Dutch friend, the tournament’s halfway leader. The banter flowed with Van Dam challenging Yin to get her A into G so they could be reunited for the final round. It was no easy task with Van Dam moving from -10 to -12 on Friday but Yin kept her part of the bargain on moving day with an equal best of the week 65. It’s clear she’s playing the role of increasingly impressive teenage golfer pretty well too.
But before we assess Yin’s chances of claiming a maiden LET title to go with a Solheim Cup debut and a memorable LPGA Tour rookie campaign in 2017 (highlighted by five top-10s and $455,235 in earnings), lets have a little more fun.
Is there any question you’d like to ask yourself, Angel? Remember, you said you wanted to do that during your interview with Van Dam the previous day.
“No, you did really good [with your questions],” Yin joked with the LET media handler. “I mean, obviously you’re professional.”
Okay, how about we ask you to elaborate on the standout feature of your game, that impressive length off the tee. Only Maude-Aimee Leblanc (279 yards), Joanna Klatten (278) and Lexi Thompson (273) boasted a higher average driving distance that Yin (272) on the LPGA Tour this year.
“I take pride in that,” said Yin before fielding the random question of the day.
Do you think the men’s game is also becoming longer and longer? “Of course. Equipment is getting better, ball’s getting better, overall, but also, I feel like we’re just — we’re focusing differently. We’re focusing on more distance, fitness and overall we’re becoming — well, we’re actually a sport.” Besides, said Yin: “Nowadays, women don’t really take it that men and women have a difference. We think we can do the exact same. I don’t know if I explained that correctly?” It was good enough.
And so too it seems is Yin’s game. She made four birdies on the trot from the 2nd hole Friday and three more coming home.
“Yeah, that was good. I hit my iron shots really good today. Those four birdies, I think three of them were a foot away from the hole, so it was a tap-in.
“Usually when you start off well, you don’t close it off that well, but today I did. I’m really happy.” Whether Yin can close out the 12th ODLC remains to be seen. What is guaranteed is that she’ll have fun trying, and will do her best to ensure Van Dam does too.