Feng wins in Malaysia
Shanshan Feng won the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia yesterday to cap a string of high finishes that started with an Olympic bronze medal. The 27-year-old Chinese star beat Suzann Pettersen by three strokes at TPC Kuala Lumpur for her second victory in the event.
“Every time I come back here, it makes me feel like I’m at home,” Feng said. “I’m really relaxed and I love everything, love the food, love the people.”
She shot a 4-under 67 after finishing off a third-round 64 in the morning. “Normally, I’m a pretty good ball-striker,” Feng said. “They have some very tough greens here that we have to be more accurate, and I think that’s good for me. And also, somehow, I always read the greens here very well. So this week, I made a lot of putts.”
Feng has finished no worse than a tie for fourth in her last six events. After Rio, she tied for fourth at Evian in France, then opened the Asia Swing in China with a fourth-place tie at Reignwood, was second in Taiwan and tied for third in South Korea.
“I started to actually get my confidence back,” said Feng, China’s only major golf champion. Feng has an even better run going at TPC Kuala Lumpur. She was second in 2013, won in 2014 and tied for second last year. She won for the fifth time on the LPGA Tour, ending a drought that dated to her 2014 victory.
“Can I actually join the membership here?” Feng said during the trophy ceremony. “I really love this golf course. Can we have like 10 LPGA events here on this course?” Tied with Anna Nordqvist after the Swede’s tap-in birdie on the par-4 13th, Feng regained the lead with a sweeping 18-foot birdie putt on the par-4 14th. She added a downhill 15-footer on the par-3 15th, and had a three-stroke lead moments later when Nordqvist three-putted the 14th. On Thursday, Feng made doubles bogeys on 14 and 15 in an opening 66. She birdied both holes in the third round. “It actually evened out,” Feng said.
She finished at 17-under 267 and earned $270,000 - more than enough for victory celebration she’s planning before tournament next week in Japan. “I love Japanese food,” Feng said. “I think I’m going to go for maybe - like normally I go to the second-most expensive meat - I’ll go for the meat. What I’m going to do is I’m going to go for the most expensive meat next week.” Pettersen shot her second straight 66. The Norwegian with 15 tour victories bogeyed the 16th and birdied the last two. On Saturday, she had a double bogey on 15. “I’ve had some stupid mistakes, probably like everyone else and giving away a lot of shots,” Pettersen said. “Felt like yesterday I gave away a great chance of winning this.”
Nordqvist had a 70, hitting into the water on the par-4 18th for a double bogey that dropped her into a tie for third with Amy Yang (69) at 12 under. “Played so well this week,” Nordqvist said. “Finishing with double was obviously not what I planned. I was in-between clubs on the last hole and it was kind of gusting out and we were going back and forth. Pretty poor decision there.” —AP
KUALA LUMPUR: Shanshan Feng of China holds her trophy up during a victory lap after winning the LPGA golf tournament at Tournament Players Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, yesterday. —AP