Feng breaks through for 1st win at LPGA Championship|
Pittsford, NY (Sports Network) - Shanshan Feng made history on Sunday as she
broke through a crowded leaderboard and won the LPGA Championship.
Feng's final-round five-under 67 was the low round of the week and got her
into the clubhouse at six-under-par 282. Several players had a chance to force
a playoff, but were unable to.
When then final twosome, Karrie Webb and Eun Hee Ji, failed to hole out from
the fairway for eagle at the last, the title was Feng's.
Feng became the first golfer, male or female, from mainland China to win a
major championship. She was also the first player from mainland China to win
an LPGA Tour event.
"I'm just so excited right now. I did it. It was my goal earlier this year to
win a tournament on the LPGA, and another goal was to have a top-10 in a
major, so I did both together," Feng said in a televised interview.
"It means a lot for me because this is my fifth year on tour and before last
year, I hadn't won since I turned pro. I was down and even thinking, 'can I
win again?' Then, I won twice on the Japanese Tour last year. It helped a lot.
It gave me more confidence."
Ji, the third-round leader scrambled to an even-par 72 at Locust Hill Country
Club to share second place at minus-four. She was joined there by 2007 champ
Suzann Pettersen (70), Stacy Lewis (70) and Mika Miyazato (69).
Webb, the 2001 champion, shot even-par 72 to end alongside Ai Miyazato (68)
and Gerina Piller (68).
Feng, who won on the Ladies European Tour and the Japan LPGA Tour earlier this
year, was three off the pace to start the round. She started her steady climb
up the leaderboard with a birdie on the second.
The 22-year-old birdied the sixth to get within one. Her third birdie of the
day at the par-five eighth gave Feng a piece of the lead at minus-four.
Feng parred three in a row around the turn. She poured in a 12-foot birdie
effort at the 12th to take the lead. As she parred the next four holes, Piller
joined Feng in the lead.
However, Piller made a mess of the 17th to tumble down the leaderboard.
Feng found sand off the tee on the par-five 17th. She laid up into the fairway
with her second, then dropped her third within eight feet. Feng drained that
putt for birdie and a two-stroke lead.
She found the fairway off the tee at the last, then knocked her second onto
the back fringe. Feng chipped within three feet and calmly sank the putt.
Feng headed to the range to stay loose just in case. Lewis, Ji, Pettersen and
Webb all had outside chances to force a playoff.
If any one of those four holed out for eagle at the last, there would have
been a playoff. Lewis came closest as her approach stopped eight feet below
the hole. With those misses, the title was Feng's.
"I can't believe that I won a major," Feng said in a TV interview. "I just
can't explain how I feel right now."
Lewis, who won the last two stroke-play events on the LPGA Tour, slid back to
minus-one after bogeys at 10 and 11. She fought back with birdies on the 12th
and 13th. After a birdie on 17 got her to minus-four, Lewis had a glimmer of
hope, but it was not meant to be for the 2011 Kraft Nabisco champion as she
left her second shot at the last eight feet short of the hole.
Ji parred her first eight holes, then bogeyed three of the next four to slide
to one-under par. She fought back with three birdies in the next four holes to
grab a piece of second.
The 2009 U.S. Women's Open champion could only par the last two holes to end
Pettersen flew out of the gate with three birdies in a four-hole span from the
second. That gave her the lead at minus-five. After tripping to a bogey on the
sixth, she birdied the ninth to regain a one-shot lead.
After four pars in a row, Pettersen faltered to bogeys on 13 and 14. She got
one stroke back at the 17th, but could only par the last to share second.
Webb had an up and down day with four birdies and four bogeys through 16th.
She birdied the 17th to give herself a chance, but a poor approach at the last
led to a closing bogey.
Mika Miyazato made a late run with three birdies between the 13th and 17th.
That got her into the clubhouse at four-under. It wasn't enough though as Feng
beat her by two.
NOTES: Feng, who earned $375,000 for the win, became the seventh player that
made this event their first LPGA Tour victory...Yani Tseng, the world No. 1
and 2011 champion, never got on track this week. She closed with a four-over
76 to end tied for 59th at 13-over 301...World No. 2 Na Yeon Choi was
disqualified after the final round for failing to sign her scorecard...After a
week off, the tour heads to Canada for a new event, the Manulife Financial
06/10 20:08:04 ET