Golf: Feng elated with Dubai triple win

Feng Shanshan of China with her trophy after winning the Dubai Ladies Masters.
Feng Shanshan of China with her trophy after winning the Dubai Ladies Masters.PHOTO: REUTERS

DUBAI (AFP) - China's Feng Shanshan became the most successful player in the 10-year history of the Dubai Ladies Masters on Saturday when she won the tournament for the third time with a record margin of 12 shots.

The Chinese world No. 6, who was the highest ranked player in the field, closed with a bogey-free six-under par 66 to complete the double of winning the season-ending championship and the Order of Merit on the Ladies European Tour.

Feng finished on 21-under par 267, while Thailand's Thidapa Suwannapura (73) was runner-up at nine-under par 279.

In the process, Feng overtook ladies golf legend Annika Sorenstam's tally of two Dubai Ladies Masters wins, as well as her record of the biggest winning margin, which was six shots in the inaugural event in 2006.

England's Melissa Reid, who started the tournament with a 75, closed with a 69 to finish alone in third place at 280, while Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum (69), Germany's Caroline Masson (70) and France's Jade Schaeffer (71) were tied fourth at 281.

Feng started the day five ahead of Suwannapura, but that gap quickly became seven after just two holes when the Thai began her final round with a bogey, while Feng made a birdie on the second.

She then made another two birdies on the front nine, and added three on the back nine, including one on the par-5 18th where she almost holed her third shot for an eagle.

"Actually, before I came this year, I didn't really think that I could win again," Feng said.

"I didn't really aim that as a goal. I was like just get a top five, just enjoy the week and just try my best on every shot.

"But of course I performed really well, I would say really consistent. Even though yesterday there were two bogeys, but today was bogey-free again.

"I think that winning the Order of Merit is maybe like a bonus for this year, because I won twice on the Ladies European Tour and also I finished third at Evian. Overall, I think I did well this year on the European Tour."

Denmark's Emily Kristine Pedersen won the Rookie of the Year honour after finishing ahead of compatriot Nanna Koerstz Madsen, the only other player in the field who had a chance of beating her to the title.

Pedersen closed with a three-under par 69 to finish on 286, while Madsen could do no better than an even-par 72 round to finish tied 37th at two-over par. Madsen needed to finish inside the top-two to go ahead of Pedersen.

There was also an emotional moment for South African star Ashleigh Simon, who got a proposal of marriage from her boyfriend of nine years and caddie for six, David Buhai, on the 18th green after finishing the tournament.

Simon, who had just double bogeyed her final hole, said yes.