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Shanshan Feng becomes first LPGA winner from China

PITTSFORD, N.Y. — Golf instructor Gary Gilchrist once said that having a major winner would make the sport really take off in China. Now let’s see if that happens.

Mainland China got its first-ever LPGA tour winner Sunday, and that victory came in the women’s second major of the year. Shanshan Feng played the best round of the week, a 67, at Locust Hill and won the LPGA Championship at 6-under 282.

Feng, 22, moved to the United States as a teen-ager to train for golf. She is coached by Gilchrist, as is world No. 1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan. While this was a tough week for Tseng — the defending champion finished tied for 59th after a 76 Sunday — it was a coronation for Feng. She and Tseng have been friends and competitors for a decade as they moved up from the junior ranks to pro golf.

“I was always trying to chase her,” Feng said of Tseng’s greater success to this point. “Right now, I’m still chasing her. But I got a little closer.”

Did China get closer to becoming a potential world golf power? We can’t say for sure that Feng’s victory will have the same enormous impact on Chinese golf that Se Ri Pak had on South Korea after winning two majors in 1998.

But considering the world’s most-populated country is building new courses and more Chinese continue to take up the sport, it seems nearly certain that China will become a bigger factor on the LPGA tour…

via Shanshan Feng becomes first winner from China – espnW.

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