Date: March 05, 2012
Author: Australian Ladies Professional Golf

LET – CHINESE GOLFERS CLEAN SWEEP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

(5 March 2012 – Haikou, Hainan Province, China)

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In what could be a watershed moment for women&aposs golf, Chinese representatives completed a clean sweep at the inaugural World Ladies Championship on Hainan Island in southern China. Playing on home soil, Chinese girls won the individual, team and amateur titles. World No.12 Shanshan Feng earned a one stroke victory in the individual stroke play event. She also partnered Liying Ye to combine for a two shot victory over Thailand while 16-year-old Chinese national team member, Jing Yan showed her class, taking the amateur honours by two shots over Lydia Ko.
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rnPlay was held over 54 holes on the Vintage Course at Mission Hills and Feng made history as the first player from mainland China to win on the Ladies European Tour. She finished with a 10-under par total of 206 after rounds of 66, 69 and 71, finishing one stroke ahead of Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum, with Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg a shot further back in third.
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rnYe ended in a share for fourth place on seven under par alongside Italian Diana Luna, who led the tournament outright after 13 holes. However, she dropped a shot at the 16th to fall back into a tie for the lead with Feng. With a playoff looming, Luna then made triple-bogey at the 18th after hitting her second shot into a water hazard over the back of the green.
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rnFeng and Ye were ecstatic in collecting the team title in the concurrent event for 20 pairs also being played over The Vintage Course. The duo combined for a winning total of 415, 17-under par, with a two stroke victory over Thai pair Nontaya Srisawang and Phatlum, with Sweden’s Lindberg and Linda Wessberg three strokes further behind in third.
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rnAfter collecting her major share of the spoils, Feng said: “I wasn’t really shooting a low score today. I think at one time I was like, three behind, but I wasn’t worried at all because I knew I would have more chances on the back nine and I would catch up and finally I got it.”
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rnIn a show of national pride, she added, “I was really focusing on the team score and I saw the Thailand team was really strong. They played really well today and they were trying to catch up and me and my partner, we were talking about it and we said, ‘no, we can’t let them catch us.’
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rnFeng played with her partner, Ye, in the final group and added: “It was really nice to play with her. She is my partner this week and has always been a nice sister to me. We chat a lot on the course and it really helps.
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rnFeng, 22, from Guangzhou, won twice on the LPGA of Japan in 2011, at the Meiji Chocolate Cup and the Miyagi TV Dunlop Ladies Cup, with this being her third career title as an individual and her first on home soil. She commented, “It’s really special because I won twice in Japan last year but I haven’t won in China yet. I always played the Chinese Open but I haven’t won and last year I was second, so I really wanted to win a tournament in China and I did it, so I’m really happy.”
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rn16-year-old Chinese national team member, Jing Yan, who was born and raised in Singapore, posted rounds of 72, 73 and 71for an even par total of 216, ending the tournament two shots clear of the next best placed amateur, New Zealand’s World No.1 Ko.
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rnYan, who hopes to represent China in the 2016 Olympic Games, said, “It was quite a challenge, this tournament, especially with the strong field of players, both professional and amateur. Getting a chance to play with Lydia Ko, the world number one amateur, again, his is the second time I’ve played with her, so I felt it was a challenge coming into the tournament both mentally and technically. I tried not to think about the tournament too much but more on my game."
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rnYan has an unusual golf education. She started playing golf aged four and sat in the television commentary box many times as a youngster whilst her father, Ming, was commentating on tournament golf for ESPN.
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