Golf: China's Feng Shanshan primed for world No. 1 ranking after Blue Bay LPGA victory

Feng Shanshan said she hopes more world No.1s will emerge from China.
Feng Shanshan said she hopes more world No.1s will emerge from China.PHOTO: AFP

Shanghai (AFP) - Feng Shanshan looked set to become China's first golfer to be world No. 1 after she claimed back-to-back wins with a thrilling victory at the Blue Bay LPGA on Saturday (Nov 11).

No Chinese golfer, male or female, has ever topped the rankings before and her slice of history underlines the country's growing heft in the sport in both sexes.

Feng, who started the week third in the world, is projected to rise to top spot at the expense of South Korean rookie Park Sung Hyun, the LPGA said.

The 28-year-old Feng's ascent to the summit came thanks to a nervy one-shot victory over Moriya Jutanugarn after the Thai's birdie try on the 72nd hole lipped out on the southern Chinese island of Hainan.

She finished on nine-under 279 with a final round of two-under 70.

Feng's fellow Chinese players showered the trailblazer in water on the 18th green and she told LPGA.com: "I'm really, really excited and very proud of myself and I think it's special because I won this tournament to become world No. 1.

"I finished first in China, so I actually claimed the world No. 1 in front of all the people at home," said Feng, who is from the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou and turned professional a decade ago.

The-inform Feng, who also captured last week's Toto Japan Classic title, added: "Hopefully, there will be more Chinese getting on the Tours and more world No. 1s coming up from China.

"I just want 2017 to keep going. A never-ending 2017, that would be great."

The deposed No. 1 Park was tied third and relinquishes the top spot after just one week.

The LPGA Tour heads back to the United States next week for the CME Group Tour Championship in Florida, the final event of the 2017 season.