Fresh off an equal-fifth place finish in Beijing last week, Yang Taoli is again starting to show the form that helped her win the inaugural China LPGA Tour Order of Merit in 2009.
Speak after her practice round on Wednesday ahead of the start of tomorrow's Orient Masters Wuhan Challenge, the Sichuan native said she was starting to feel good about her game three years into her "comeback". In 2014, Yang quit golf to have a child and returned to competition in 2016.
"I love golf and missed the matches and camaraderie among the players. I enjoy that competitive feeling and I felt that I could still compete with other players so I came back," said Yang who is currently 13th in the Order of Merit this year with RMB78,305 in earnings.
The 35-year-old, a two-time tournament winner on the CLPGA Tour, noted that the last time she had played Orient Wuhan was 10 years ago and she was returning to a very different course.
"Ten years ago there were nearly no trees, only the lake and several ponds. The course has changed a lot and 10 years later it's much more beautiful. I want to enjoy this week and be more confident with every shot," said Yang.
"Coming back now there is a lot of younger player and new stars. I feel I am so old. I was very aggressive when I was young. I wouldn't take out my No. 3 wood and instead use my driver. Now I will use the club that can give me confidence. I have more strategies and experience now. With 10 years of tour experience that makes me more mature."
Among the many "new stars" on the rise is Sui Xiang. The 19-year-old has posted two top-three finishes this season, including a tie for third at last week's Le Coq Sportif Beijing Ladies Classic.
"This is my third time playing in the Orient Masters Wuhan Challenge and I feel like my play has been stable in the first half of the year," said the Beijing teenager who lost in a playoff in Zhuhai in March to Thailand's Chonlada Chayanun at the Hengqin Phoenix Tree Building Orient Golf Challenge.
"I've had a runner-up and a second runner-up but I feel I still lack what it is to step up and be a champion. I tried my best at the Le Coq Sportif Beijing Ladies Classic but Shi Yuting (the winner in a second-hole playoff) played so good.
"I really need to keep in good condition because this is the third event I have played in May. I am feeling a little bit tired and need to rest more to maintain my physical strength."
Defending champion Saranporn Langkulgasettrin, the current CLPGA Tour Order of Merit leader, is absent from the field as the Thai star is in Alabama for this week's US Women's Open.