Shanshan in mood for double victory

Shanshan Feng © Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images
Shanshan Feng © Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images

Kuala Lumpur:  China’s Shanshan Feng is hoping to continue her rich vein of form as a world-class field makes its way to Kuala Lumpur for the fourth edition of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.

Fresh from pulling off a sensational victory in front of her home fans at the inaugural Reignwood LPGA Classic yesterday, the Rolex Rankings number eight is confident of mounting a challenge at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club when the US$2 million tournament tees on Thursday.

“I am surely looking forward to this week, especially on the back off a very memorable victory. I think last week was a very big week for me personally – especially with LPGA being played in mainland China for the first time and  being the home favourite – and to win it with an eagle on the final hole – that’s the stuff of dreams,” said the 23-year-old Guangzhou native.

“You know, I’ve never won twice in a row but who knows, maybe I’d get lucky. I’m really feeling confident with the way I’m swinging the club and I just try to give my all on every shot. You have to  keep knocking on doors if you want to win more. I started the year with a goal of winning two LPGA titles and I am halfway there with three tournaments left on my schedule,” she added.

Feng, who became the first Chinese golfer – male or female – to win a Major when she triumphed at the Wegmans LPGA championship last year, is particularly upbeat about her putting.

“My condition is pretty good and having enjoyed some top-ten finishes here in the past, I know that it’s a golf course that grows upon you over the tournament. I’ve struggled with my putting this year but I worked on some new alignment techniques with my coach [Gary Gilchrist] and it worked perfectly, which is exciting,” added Feng, who carded the lowest winning score this season with a 26-under-par total over the weekend

American icon Cristie Kerr, who will make her fourth consecutive appearance at the tournament, started off her week by gracing the Breasts Friend Forever campaign launch, organised by the tournament’s official charity, Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF).

“It’s always great to be back in Malaysia and do what I can to help Sime Darby and CARIF, as they try to raise the awareness of breast cancer – which is a cause near and endear to my heart.

“It’s fantastic to know that we’ve raised so much funds over the last three editions of the Sime Darby LPGA and hopefully it will go towards earlier detection of breast cancer among Malaysian women as well as for research to find a reliable and permanent cure for the disease,” said the proclaimed breast cancer activist.

Having  returned to winning ways when she lifted the Kingsmill Championship in May, Kerr is delighted that the tendinitis condition in her right arm appears to be getting better with the Tour entering its busy autumn Asian swing.

“It’s been successful season because I have won once but I’ve not enjoyed the consistency that I would have liked with the condition. But it’s feeling much better now, even more so than when I won the tournament and I’ve been able to practice and play the way I would like to.

“Obviously, you have to be mindful of the inclement weather whenever you come to this parts of Asia but I believe that if you can manage four solid rounds of golf, you will have a decent chance to be challenging on the back nine come Sunday.”