Three great years
course all year,” she said.
Feng won a bronze medal at the Rio Games, a historic breakthrough for Chinese women’s golf, and won two titles on the LPGA Tour.
“I’ve improved a lot, not only in terms of skill but my attitude toward competition. Winning the bronze medal at the Olympics made me more confident playing against international golfers,” she said.
“It was one of my best years, but I can’t say it is the best. It’s hard to top 2012, when I won my major title (at the LPGA Championship). I wouldn’t compare them. I’d like to say that I am satisfied with my performance this year.”
Before the opening of the China Ladies Open, Feng predicted homegrown players would put up a great fight against their South Korean counterparts, who have dominated the event since its launch 10 years ago. But she couldn’t prevent another Korean win as Kim Hyo-joo took home her third title.
“I did my best, to the last minute. It was such a pity that I made some minor mistakes,” said Feng.
Feng carded a final-round 69 on Sunday to finish three shots behind Kim, whose compatriots Lim Eun-bin and Jang Ha-na tied for second, two strokes back.
Feng’s success has been inspirational to a new generation of Chinese talent. She now likes to describe herself “an old golfer”, and expresses the hope that more “youngsters” follow in her footsteps to share the burden of expectation.
“It is good to see that an increasing number of young people pick up clubs. That is of great significance in promoting the sport and boosting China’s presence in international competition,” said Feng.
“Hopefully, in the near future, we can see a contingent of world-class Chinese to match the Koreans.”
The China Ladies Open saw 18 Koreans finish in the top 20 — but Feng believes next year could see China weaken that stranglehold.
“Playing against Korean golfers has made us more confident — we’ve made steady improvement in the past 10 years,” she said.
“We should have higher goals next year.”
2016 2015 2014
China’s Feng Shanshan hits out of a bunker during the opening round of the Olympic tournament in Rio de Janeiro in August. Feng won the bronze medal at the Games.