Chinese star retains her title again after final-round surge in desert
Chinese golfer Feng Shanshan wins record fourth Dubai Ladies Masters title.
Defending champion Feng Shanshan won a record fourth Dubai Ladies Masters title on Saturday following a brilliant 8-under-par finalround 64.
The 27-year-old Chinese, WME|IMG China client, started the day five shots behind overnight leader Felicity Johnson of England.
But Feng claimed back-toback titles, finishing on a 10-under total of 206 as the leaders fell by the wayside on a windy day at the Majlis course of Emirates Golf Club.
Feng, the highest ranked player in the competition at world No 4 and also won in Dubai in 2015 and 2014, was chased home by England’s Charley Hull, who was second at 8-under following a 65.
In 2012, Feng’s historic victory in the Wegmans LPGA Championship established her as the first player from China mainland (male or female) to win a major title.
The year of 2016 was another truly impressive year. Feng won the Buick Championship again, this time after a playoff victory, and took home an Olympic Games bronze medal at Rio 2016 when golf returned to the sporting event after an absence of 112 years.
India’s Aditi Ashok signed off a brilliant season tied third with England’s Florentyna Parker at 6-under in the tournament that was reduced to 54 holes following the death of caddie Maximilian Zechmann during the opening round on Wednesday.
American Beth Allen won the Ladies European Tour (LET) Order of Merit, while Ashok was Rookie of the Year.
Feng made the most of the early holes playing downwind, making four birdies in a row from the second onwards, and then had another fantastic stretch from the par-4 ninth onwards as she added three more to her tally.
“I’m really happy that I actually brought out my A game today,” said Feng.
“I knew that it was going to be windy and I knew that playing in the wind is one of my strongest parts. So even though I was five behind, I always thought that maybe I would still have a chance to win this week and I tried my best. So 8-under was a pretty good score.”
Hull, who won her first LPGA Tour title three weeks ago at the CME Group Tour Championship, had a similar story to Feng. After two quiet days, the 21-year-old caught fire and carded a bogey-free 65.
“Today, I kind of woke up and got into my game. I’ve been a bit lazy all week on the course, but today I got in there and kind of concentrated,” said the world No 18.
“I holed a few putts and I missed a lot of putts. I hit it pretty well and it was really windy today. So I’m quite happy with my score in those conditions.”
Ashok, who shot a third consecutive round of 70 with four birdies and two bogeys, was happy with her finish, although disappointed that she could not make the most of the first four holes that played easy on Saturday.
“It was pretty solid. I actually didn’t start very well today. I was 1-over in the first four holes when all four were actually birdie-able with the tailwind. So I didn’t really make use of that,” said the 18-year-old, who also qualified for the LPGA Tour next year.
Allen, who won twice this season, finished tied-55 th at 6-over on Saturday. The 35-year-old topped the LET money list with $330,000, while Ashok was second in the standings at $218,205.
The event was overshadowed by the death of 56-yearold Zechmann, who was caddying for France’s AnneLise Caudal when he collapsed on the 13th fairway on the first day.
Feng Shanshan of China poses with her trophy after winning Dubai Ladies Masters on Saturday.