Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 February 2020

Shanshan Feng confirms she will defend her Omega Dubai Ladies Masters title

Reigning champion Shanshan Feng will return to one of her happiest hunting grounds when she tees it up at the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters next month.
Shanshan Feng of China hits her tee shot on the second hole during the final round of the Japan Classics at the Taiheiyo Club Minori Course on November 6, 2016 in Omitama, Japan. Atsushi Tomura / Getty Images
Shanshan Feng of China hits her tee shot on the second hole during the final round of the Japan Classics at the Taiheiyo Club Minori Course on November 6, 2016 in Omitama, Japan. Atsushi Tomura / Getty Images

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Reigning champion Shanshan Feng will return to one of her happiest hunting grounds when she tees it up at the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters next month.

Historic win

Feng, who is China’s most successful golfer, created history in 2015 by winning the title for the third time when a final-round six-under-par 66 gave her a tournament tally of 21-under-par 267, which matched her own record of lowest 72-hole total set in 2012.

Staying humble

Despite her achievements, Feng said she was not getting ahead of herself at this year’s tournament, from December 7-10. “Dubai has been very good to me, a lucky place indeed,” she said. “I just enjoy this tournament and try to focus on shot by shot. I love this [Majlis] course and it suits my game, so I’m just going to give my best and I think my goal is just a top 10, as always.”

Olympic high

Feng, who has 18 professional wins to her name and is the only Chinese player to win a major – the PGA Championship in 2012 – said winning the bronze medal at the Rio Games this year was the highlight of her career. “I didn’t play very well for the first half of this year, with my LPGA ranking out of top 10, but I got a medal at the Olympics so I felt that all of hard work has paid off, and I felt really happy about it,” she said.

Order of Merit

Last year Feng also became the first player from China to win the Ladies European Tour’s Order of Merit. She teed up in Dubai with an unassailable lead and, after collecting a first-prize cheque for €75,000 (Dh305,000), took her season’s earnings to €399,213 – €150,062 ahead of Melissa Reid of England.

Other players

Among others to confirm their participation at the event next month is Charley Hull. The 20-year-old Englishwoman is a pre-tournament favourite thanks to a season that has included a runner-up finish at the ANA Inspiration and a fourth place at Rio 2016. Icelandic rookie Olafia Kristinsdottir, who led the field on the first two days of the just-concluded Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Open, is also a possibility.

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Updated: November 8, 2016 04:00 AM

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