Feng hopes sea­side so­journ will reap ma­jor re­wards

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By CHINA DAILY

Chi­nese star Feng Shan­shan reck­ons this week’s Kumho Tires Ladies Open in Wei­hai, Shan­dong prov­ince, is the per­fect pick-me-up for her next as­sault on a ma­jor.

The 27-year-old world No 6 failed to make the cut at last week­end’s Women’s PGA Cham­pi­onship at Olympia Fields in Illi­nois, the sec­ond ma­jor of the year, which was won by Danielle Kang of the US.

Feng is anx­ious to bounce back from that dis­ap­point­ment as the China LPGA Tour rolls into coastal Wei­hai. With a good re­sult, she’ ll head to next week’s US Women’s Open, the year’s third ma­jor, with her con­fi­dence re­stored.

“I’m ex­pect­ing to play solid here and have some fun on home soil. I think all the bad things hap­pend last week,” said Feng, who won bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Co-sanc­tioned by the Korean LPGA, the $434,000 tour­na­ment, which runs from Friday to Sun­day, is worth $86,000 to the win­ner.

In three vis­its to the scenic Wei­hai Point Ho­tel and Golf Re­sort, Feng has been run­nerup twice, los­ing to Kim Hy­oweek in 2015 and Lee Miny­oung last year.

“I’ve come very close to win­ning the tro­phy in Wei­hai the past two years,” said Feng, who has one LPGA Tour tri­umph this sea­son, at the Volvik Cham­pi­onship in May.

“I had a great start on the LPGA Tour this year with an early win, which was a re­sult of some ad­just­ment to my play and my mind­set.”

It’s a tight turn­around for Feng ahead of the US Women’s Open at Trump Na­tional in Bed­min­ster, New Jersey. How­ever, she feels it’s worth it — espe­cially con­sid­er­ing the con­tri­bu­tions her spon­sor, Kumho Tires, makes to golf in China and South Korea.

“Kumho Tires of­fers golfers from the two coun­tries a great op­por­tu­nity to get to­gether here and com­pare notes on the coastal course,” Feng said.

“Young Chi­nese golfers can use this great op­por­tu­nity to im­prove their skills.”

Feng and her com­pa­tri­ots will face a strong con­tin­gent of Korean stars, led by Jang Ha-na, who notched four LPGA ca­reer wins be­fore re­turn­ing to play on the KLPGA Tour in May.

The China LPGA Tour con­tin­ues to ex­pand rapidly and this year sees the in­clu­sion of an Aus­tralian tour event, a KLPGA tour­na­ment and re­gional qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the US Women’s Open.

As ev­i­dence of the tour’s grow­ing strength, more Chi­nese are grad­u­at­ing to high­er­level tours in Ja­pan, Europe and the US.

The lat­est vic­tory came from 21-year-old Liu Yu, who sur­vived a clos­ing bo­gey to win her first Symetra Tour ti­tle, the Tul­ly­more Clas­sic in Michi­gan, by a stroke last Sun­day.

The Bei­jinger closed with a 4-un­der 68 for a 16-un­der 200 to­tal and earned $15,000 to jump from 10th to fifth on the money list with $42,571. The top 10 at the end of the sea­son will earn LPGA Tour cards.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Feng Shan­shan, China’s No 1 fe­male golfer, chips out of a bunker dur­ing a prac­tice round for the Kumho Tires Ladies Open in Wei­hai, Shan­dong prov­ince, on Wed­nes­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.