Tue, Jun 12, 2012 - Page 20 News List

LPGA: China’s Feng wins her first major

AFP, PITTSFORD, NEW YORK

China’s Feng Shanshan holds the trophy after winning the LPGA Championship in Pittsford, New York, on Sunday.

Photo: Reuters

Feng Shanshan became the first Chinese golfer to win a major by firing a bogey-free five-under 67 on Sunday to capture the LPGA Championship by two strokes.

The 22-year-old from Beijing, who began playing golf at age 10 and went to the US as a teen before joining the LPGA in 2008, took her first career LPGA triumph by finishing 72 holes at Locust Hill Country Club on six-under 282.

“I still can’t believe that I won a major. It just feels so good,” Feng said. “I’m just so excited right now. I did it.”

Japan’s Mika Miyazato, Norway’s Suzann Pettersen, Stacy Lewis of the US and South Korean Ji Eun-hee shared second on 284.

“My goal for the year was to win on the LPGA Tour and a top 10 in a major. I did them at one time,” Feng said.

As meaningful as the shock victory was for Feng, it could resonate far more in China, which opened its first golf course in 1984, only five years before Feng was born.

Feng said she had planned to play upcoming LPGA events, but would instead celebrate her victory with a trip home. She plans to play in the US Women’s Open on July 5.

A startled Feng exclaimed: “Oh my God,” when she saw the winner’s trophy and where her name would be engraved beside that of world No. 1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan.

“I’m still chasing her [Tseng], but maybe I got a little closer,” Feng said.

Tseng finished tied for 59th — her worst performance in the last 26 tournaments. The defending champion carded a four-over 76 in the final round for a total of 13-over 301 at the Locust Hill Country Club.

Tseng, 23, struggled to make the fairway, posting the lowest fairway hit rate of the four rounds — 28.6 percent — but her 27 putts were also the lowest in the tournament.

Taiwan’s Candie Kung shot a 70 to finish in 29th place on five-over 293, while Amy Hung carded a 77 to finish level with Tseng.

Additional reporting by staff writer, with CNA

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