Top-ranked Feng aims to in­spire China gen­er­a­tion

The Freeman - - SPORTS -

SHANG­HAI — Feng Shan­shan hopes to in­spire a gen­er­a­tion of Chi­nese golfers af­ter be­com­ing the first player from the coun­try to reach world num­ber one.

No man or woman from China had ever sat atop the golf rank­ings, but that changed on Satur­day when the 28-year-old Feng tri­umphed on home soil at Hainan Is­land to claim a sec­ond suc­ces­sive LPGA Tour vic­tory.

Her as­cen­sion to num­ber one was con­firmed this week, un­der­lin­ing China's grow­ing in­flu­ence in a sport that was banned un­der Mao Ze­dong.

"It's the long­est day in my life to wait for the up­date of the world rank­ing," Feng told

"When I fi­nally see the Chi­nese flag on top of the rank­ing I feel all the ef­forts over the past 18 years on golf is worth it.

"I re­ally en­joy the mo­ment and hope­fully this could en­cour­age a younger gen­er­a­tion in China to go for this sport."

Feng's nervy one-shot vic­tory on the south­ern Chi­nese is­land fol­lowed her suc­cess­ful de­fense of the Ja­pan Clas­sic ti­tle a week ear­lier.

Vic­tory in at the Blue Bay LPGA in Hainan pro­pelled her from three in the world to top spot at the ex­pense of South Korean rookie Park SungHyun, who held the honor for just one week.

Feng, the 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medal­list, now boasts nine LPGA vic­to­ries, one of them a ma­jor.

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