Shanshan Feng, a 22-year old Chinese player, won in the LPGA Championships. She is the first Chinese player to won the major event..
China’s Shanshan Feng wins LPGA Championship
PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) Shanshan Feng’s friends like to call her Jenny. They might start calling her champ.
The 22-year-old Feng, the only player from mainland China on the LPGA Tour, won the LPGA Championship on Sunday to become the first Chinese player to win an LPGA Tour title and a major event, closing with a 5-under 67 for a two-stroke victory.
”I still can’t believe it,” Feng said. ”I think after this week it’s going to give me a lot more confidence. I believe I can win again in the future, and hopefully it’s going to help golf in China because I want to be … like a model that the other juniors can follow my steps.”
Feng had the lowest round of the tournament at the right time and finished at 6-under 282.
Stacy Lewis, bidding to win her third straight stroke-play event on the LPGA Tour, shot a 70 to tie for second with Mika Miyazato,Suzann Pettersen and third-round leader Eun-Hee Ji. Miyazato shot 69, Pettersen 70, and Ji 72.
Karrie Webb, who started the day one shot behind Ji, had a 72 to finish at 3 under. Little-known Gerina Piller, a star in college at UTEP, and Ai Miyazato each shot 68 to also finish at 3 under.
Paula Creamer had a 71, and Giulia Sergas and Inbee Park shot 72 to finish another shot back.
Defending champion Yani Tseng of Taiwan had a closing 76 and was 13 over in a tournament she won a year ago by 10 shots.
Feng, who began the day three shots behind Ji, had a bogey-free round to etch her name in the record books, and her fourth top 10 of the year moved her to fifth in the world.
”For me, I never thought, ‘I must win.’ I knew I was three behind (at the start), so I knew I had a chance,” said Feng, who began playing golf at age 10. ”I was focusing on very shot. If I win, I win. If I don’t, I don’t. It just worked out.”
Feng, who started playing golf at the age of 10 and credits her father Feng Xiong and coach Gary Gilchrist for much of her success, joined a growing list players who have broken through for their first career victory at the LPGA Championship. Anna Nordqvist in 2008 and Tseng in 2009 were the last two of the seven who have accomplished the feat.
”You knew it was coming at some point. I’m surprised she hasn’t won out here,” said Lewis, who moves to second in the world rankings behind Tseng. ”She went out and won it. The goal was to go post a low number. That’s what everybody was trying to do.”
Over the first three days, Ji and Webb had notched the lowest score – 68 – on the Locust Hill Country Club course, its narrow fairways and long, thick rough providing a challenge worthy of a major.
Tseng last year and Cristie Kerr in 2010 won this tournament with 19-under scores, Kerr by a record 12 shots and Tseng by 10. With difficult conditions over the first three days, nobody was able to break away, and only 13 players began the day under par.
But under a blue sky with only the hint of a breeze, a breakthrough by somebody seemed likely. That it ended up being the only player from China with an LPGA card and no career wins didn’t seem likely.
”Obviously, it means a lot for me because this is my fifth year on the tour,” Feng said. ”I was sad and I was even thinking, ‘Can I win again?’ I won twice on the Japanese tour last year and it helped a lot. It helped me to have confidence again. Now, I know I can win again.”
Feng made five birdies, hitting 11 of 14 fairways and reaching 16 greens in regulation. She even laughed with her caddie after barely missing a birdie putt at No. 16, probably because she didn’t know she was nursing a one-shot lead.
Congratulations to Feng (or Jenny)! I am sure the Chinese people is very proud of you! She is one young golfer that people will definitely admire especially by aspiring golfers out there..