Feng back in business with successive wins

IBARAKI (Japan) • Feng Shanshan won back-to-back tournaments for the first time in her career, after the women's world No. 8 survived a late scare to secure a one-stroke victory over South Korea's Jang Ha Na at the co-sanctioned Japan Classic on Sunday.

The Chinese golfer completed her third and final round with a two-under 70 at the Taiheiyo Club's tree-lined Minori Course to claim her sixth LPGA Tour title, one week after winning the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur.

"I haven't won at the LPGA for two years and I just won back-to-back, that means Shanshan is back," Feng told reporters.

She has been impressive in recent months, finishing fourth or higher in her last six events.

Her run began at the Rio Olympics, where she got a bronze. That was followed by joint fourth at the Evian Championship in France, another fourth place in China, a second in Taiwan and a tie for third in South Korea.

The 27-year-old continued her bogey-free golf from the previous day by mixing four birdies with 13 pars over 17 holes yesterday. Her only blemish was three-putting for double bogey at the par-four 18th hole to finish on 13-under 203.

Jang, who beat Feng by a stroke to win in Taiwan last month, shot her third straight 68 for a 204 total, but the Korean was always too far back to mount a serious challenge in the final event on the American-based circuit's Asian swing.

The US$1.5 million (S$2.08 million) event is co-sanctioned by the LPGA of Japan Tour.

Defending champion Ahn Sun Ju (70) tied for third on 206, alongside Japan's Kotone Hori (68) and fellow South Koreans Ryu So Yeon (68) and Kang Soo Yun (71). World No. 1 Lydia Ko had a 69 to share 43rd spot on 214.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2016, with the headline 'Feng back in business with successive wins'. Print Edition | Subscribe