Feng has a steak in bonus hunt

China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-17 08:58

China's world No 1 hungry to add $1 million year-end prize

MIAMI - China's Feng Shanshan said on Wednesday she was changing planes at an airport in Dallas on her way to Florida when learned she had officially been crowned the LPGA's world No 1.

"I checked and I was like, 'Oh my God, I'm really world No 1.' So I was really, really excited," Feng said.

"I was by myself at the Dallas airport and I went into a restaurant and I ordered a steak to celebrate. I took a picture of it and sent it to my dad and mom.

"I'm sure they are having much better food back home, like celebrities. After this week I'm flying right back to China. I can't wait to see them."

Coming off back-to-back wins, Feng is taking dead aim at the LPGA's $1 million playoff bonus at the season-ending Tour Championship, which tees off Thursday at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida.

The 28-year-old from Guangzhou is among five top point-getters from the season's 32 events over 15 countries and regions that can claim the bonus by winning the showdown.

In all, 12 women have a shot at the $1 million prize.

Other season awards are up for grabs as well, including Player of the Year and the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average.

If Feng wins the tournament and the $1 million, she's thinking of a nice meal to celebrate and adding to her handbag collection.

"Normally when I celebrate there are two things. One is food. Very good food," Feng said. "Second thing is I'm going to buy myself presents. What I normally get are handbags.

"If I win this week I'm going to win the million, become Player of the Year and then maybe I'll get myself a very nice handbag."

Feng, whose father is vice-president of the Chinese Golf Association, says her bronze medal from last year's Rio Olympics might have a greater impact in China than becoming world No 1.

"I think the bronze medal is very big. Last year really showed Chinese people that Chinese can be good golfers, too. Even though our history in the game is not that long, we're competitive.

"I think now that I am world No 1 shows them even more that Chinese can maybe get to the top of the sport."

Feng had imagined she would play 10 LPGA seasons and retire, but as her 10th campaign closes, the nine-time Tour winner whose lone major title came at the 2012 LPGA Championship has no thought of quitting.

"In my rookie year I made a plan of, like, I'll play 10 years in the LPGA and then retire. This is my 10th year already and I'm still here. I'm not going to go away soon," she said.

"I've got a bronze medal in my pocket, so I should try to go for the gold, right? So at least I'll be here for a few more years."

Other players who would take the bonus payoff with a victory include Canada's Brooke Henderson, Lexi Thompson of the US, and two South Koreans: Ryu So-yeon and LPGA rookie of the year Park Sung-hyun.

Ryu has 162 points, three ahead of second-place Feng in the Player of the Year chase, with Park third on 157.

Thompson leads the LPGA in scoring average at 69.147 followed by Park at 69.259 and South Korea's Chun In-gee on 69.269.

Ryu has been hampered by a right shoulder injury that has hindered her for the past few weeks.

"My expectation level with my long game is not really as high as it could be right now," Ryu said.

Park, who won the US Women's Open and leads the LPGA in earnings, could match Nancy Lopez as the only players to win top player and rookie awards in the same year.

Agence France - presse

Feng has a steak in bonus hunt

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