Feng rallies to win Titleholders
Naples, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Shanshan Feng fired a 6-under 66 on Sunday to rally and win the CME Group Titleholders by one stroke.
Feng finished at 15-under-par 273. She beat Na Yeon Choi's tournament scoring record by one stroke.
The 24-year-old was victorious for the second time this season on the LPGA Tour, and for the third time in her career. Feng's first career win came in 2012 and was a major, the LPGA Championship.
"Before I started, I never thought I was going to win. I knew I was only two behind, but all the players in the last group were strong competitors, so I just set a goal and said if I get to 15-under, I'm happy. It didn't matter if I won or not," Feng stated. "And I did it. So I'm really happy I got to 15- under and I finally won."
Gerina Piller, one of three third-round leaders, closed with a 3-under 69 to end alone in second at minus-14. Pornanong Phatlum, who was tied with Piller and Natalie Gulbis to start the day, managed a 2-under 70 to grab third at 13- under-par 275.
Sandra Gal (69) ended alone on fourth at 12-under 276, while Inbee Park (68) was one stroke back at minus-11 at Tiburon Golf Club at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort. Cristie Kerr (69), Sun Young Yoo (69) and Stacy Lewis (71) shared sixth at 10-under 278.
Gulbis struggled to a 10-over 82, which dropped her into a tie for 29th at minus-1.
Feng flew out of the gates with three birdies in the first four holes. The birdies on three and four were both from four feet out. She converted another 4-footer for birdie at the sixth.
Those four birdies gave Feng a 2-stroke lead at minus-13. She remained there as she reeled off eight consecutive pars from the seventh. During that run, Gal, Phatlum and Piller all got within one of the lead.
Feng answered with a birdie at the 15th. Piller also birdied No. 15 to again get within one. At the par-5 17th, Feng knocked her second over the green, then chipped to a foot. She kicked that in for birdie and a 2-stroke lead.
Piller got back within one as she also birdied the 17th. Both players parred the last to give Feng the title.
"I set a goal early this year that I wanted to win twice on the LPGA, and before China I didn't have any wins, and finally I got it at the last minute, so I'm really, really happy," Feng said. "Maybe this means I can take a little more time off in the off-season, I guess."
Piller collected her eighth top-10 finish despite the loss.
"I've never led an LPGA event and I did, I guess, at the LPGA Championship for one hole and I didn't know I was leading so that doesn't count. So to come out and grind like I did and give myself an opportunity to force a playoff, I'm pretty excited about that," Piller said. "I'm excited that I'm done for the year."
NOTES: Feng earned $700,000 for the win ... This was Feng's second win in her last four starts as she also won the Reignwood LPGA Classic ... Moriya Jutanugarn needed to finish 33rd to win LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year. She shot 72 to finish at even-par 288 and tied for 33rd, which means she beat Caroline Masson by a single point, 480-479 ... Masson played the final event with a broken thumb in hopes of winning the award.
11/24 17:53:14 ET