Hong Kong: American golfer Michelle Wie, once hailed as the future of women's golf, said Monday that world number one Yani Tseng's dominant form was inspiring her to become a better player.
Wie has failed to live up to her potential since turning professional amid a blaze of publicity shortly before her 16th birthday in 2005.
The Hawaiian-born player has won just two titles on the LPGA tour, and is currently sitting at 14th in the world rankings.
Meanwhile Taiwan's Tseng, who at 22 is the same age as Wie, has spent 36 weeks at the top of the world rankings, with 11 LPGA titles to her name and five majors.
"She's an amazing golfer. I've competed against her since I was 14 and the way she's improved, it's very inspiring," said Wie.
"She's a very strong force out there, every week she's in contention which I think is very impressive, and it makes me want to become a better player.
"She is someone who is definitely motivating to be better and become the best player in the world."
Asked what it would take to catch her rival, she said: "A lot of hard work and dedication to try to bring my game to the next level."
As a teenager Wie was accused of playing down the importance of the women's game, and drew criticism for, among other things, saying she wanted to beat Tiger Woods.
Speaking at an HSBC charity golf day in aid of UNICEF at the Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club in Hong Kong, she said: "It's kind of funny the stupid things we say when we're 12 or 13. At the time what else did I know, I was young."
But Wie, who was also criticised in 2008 for opting to play in a PGA tour event even before winning a women's title, refused to rule out playing in men's competitions in the future.
"Right now I want to focus on winning more LPGA tournaments because obviously I haven't accomplished everything that I want to. I want to win majors, I want to win a lot more tournaments," she said.
"In the future, I don't know, I won't ever say absolutely no to anything."
As for Woods and his recent personal troubles, she said: "It's unfortunate what happened. I still respect him a lot as a golfer."
Some have suggested her studies at Stanford University may have got in the way of her golf, but Wie, who graduates in communications in March, said this was not the case.
"I've been through a lot of ups and downs. This year my results haven't been as good as I want them to be but I feel like personally I'm in a good place," she said.
Wie, who has only just celebrated her 22nd birthday, said her immediate goal was not complicated.
"I want to keep improving my game, become a better player and win lots of tournaments - simple."