Gilchrist Pro Shanshan Feng of China Wins Wegmans LPGA Championship
June 10, 2012
Sunday was a day of firsts for Shanshan Feng and golf in China.
The 22-year-old Feng, of China, won her first major and first LPGA event Sunday at the Wegmans LPGA Championship all-the-while becoming the first player from China to win an LPGA event, let alone a major — making it two years in a row players coached by Gary Gilchrist have won the event with Yani Tseng winning in 2011.
“I am so excited right now,” Feng said following her win. “I did it!”
A birdie on No. 17 gave Feng a two-stroke lead going into the final hole while a par on No. 18 put the final touches on her bogey-free 5-under 67, which proved to be the low round of the day and the entire tournament. Feng finished the event at 6-under 282, two strokes clear of Suzann Pettersen, Stacy Lewis, Eun-Hee Ji and Mika Miyazato, who all tied for second.
Feng crept her way up the leaderboard each day at Locust Hill Country Club and hung in contention all the way through among a large pack of players going for the title. To start the final round, she was three back but a three under front nine quickly erased that deficit.
She then went on to pick up a birdie at No. 12 and played near flawless golf to her first major victory.
Feng emerged from the pack quietly, but she is hardly a seemingly unknown to come out of nowhere to win the year’s second major.
Feng was ranked No. 10 in the Rolex Rankings going into the event but will most assuredly move up after her second win of the year. In March, Feng won the CLPGA World Ladies Championship. She also won the JLPGA Meiji Cup last August and has three top fives on the LPGA this year without a missed cut.
With her win, Feng became the second player coached by Gary Gilchrist to win a major in the past year. She often works with Gilchrist and even lives at Mission Inn Resort & Club, home of the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy.
“This is an enormous accomplishment for Jenny and for golf in China,” said Gilchrist, who has coached Feng since she was 16. “It’s amazing because of the pressure of carrying the torch for Chinese golf.”
“It’s really huge. Her winning a major in America will enable her to get limelight she deserves and to inspire golf in China. She could be for China, what Se Ri Pak was Korea.”
Based at the Mission Inn Resort & Club, 40 minutes outside of Orlando, Florida, the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy is the leading full-time junior golf academy in the world. The Academy is committed to excellence in every facet of golf, fitness, personal development and academics, evident through exclusive relationships with Montverde Academy, an acclaimed private college preparatory school, and the American Junior Golf Association.
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