DUBAI, Saturday Dec 8, 2012 – World No.6 Shanshan Feng of China earned an imperious five stroke victory after leading from start to finish at the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters.
The 23-year-old from Guangzhou fired rounds of 66, 65, 67 and 67 to end 21 under par, recording the lowest winning total in the tournament’s seven year history, beating the previous best of 18-under jointly held by Sweden’s Annika Sorenstam and South Korean In Kyung Kim.
Dewi-Claire Schreefel of the Netherlands, who shot a tournament record 63 in the third round, ended in lone second position at 16 under par. Meanwhile Becky Brewerton and Caroline Masson finished four shots further back in a tie for third.
Feng took a commanding five shot lead into the final round and was still five clear as she made the turn. She moved to 20 under par after rolling in an eagle putt from 20 feet at the par-5 third hole. China’s first major champion earlier this year, Feng bogeyed the fifth but birdied the eighth for an outward total of two under. She was solid on the back nine with eight pars and a solitary birdie on the 14th hole.
“I'm very happy because I had the lead for three days in a row and I don't want to give it away on the last day. I think I tried my best, but still, I won, so here I am!” said a jubilant Feng after receiving the winner’s trophy from HRH Princess Haya, who was accompanied by Her daughter, HH Sheikha Al Jalila Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, at the tournament’s prize ceremony.
This was Feng’s eighth professional victory and her second on the Ladies European Tour, after she won the World Ladies Championship in China in March. She was full of praise for the LET and added: “This looks like a major to me.
“I've always heard about it, that it's very nice. Finally I got a chance to play, and I like it, I like the golf course: of course, I shot 21‑under!”
Feng said that she would celebrate by going to the mall and buying herself, her friend and her parents each a handbag. At the beginning of the week she had a wager with her compatriot Yu Yang Zhang, who tied for 24th, that if the young LET rookie recorded a top-10 to avoid a trip to next week’s Tour School, she would buy her a handbag. “I don't think she made the top 10 and she has to go back to Q‑School but I believe that she can make it anywhere,” said Feng, in a display of support.
The Netherland’s Schreefel was equally excited with her second place finish and said: “I played very well the whole tournament. It's been a consistent season and I felt if I just played my game, I can finish well out here, so I'm very happy.
“She was so far ahead that something had to happen to her game and I would have to go pretty low to make something happen. So it was actually nice because I could just concentrate on my own game and I thought I'm going to try and catch her, that's going to keep me going.”
One of the most dramatic storylines of the day was the tight final round duel for the ISPS Handa Order of Merit. Masson was in second position for much of the day and looked to have the advantage over Carlota Ciganda. However, after Masson triple bogeyed the 12th hole she never recovered and Ciganda took the title, with a tie for 10th place in the tournament.
“I'm very lucky and very happy to have won the Order of Merit,” said Ciganda. “I want to congratulate, also, Caroline, because she has been playing great.”