Reignwood LPGA Classic Final Round Notes and Interviews

Shanshan Feng
Photo Credit: Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images

Shanshan Feng holds her trophy during the closing ceremony of the Reignwood LPGA Classic at Pine Valley Golf Club in Beijing, China.

Reignwood LPGA Classic
Pine Valley Golf Club, Nicklaus Course
Beijing, China
Final-Round Notes and Interviews
October 6, 2013


STACY LEWIS, Rolex Rankings No. 3
SHANSHAN FENG, Rolex Rankings No. 9

Rolex Rankings No. 9 Shanshan Feng wrote her own storybook ending at the inaugural Reignwood LPGA Classic and clinched her second LPGA Tour victory in front of her home country with an eagle on the 72nd hole. The 24-year old Guangzhou native trailed No. 3 Stacy Lewis by one shot heading to the 18th hole on Sunday and used the two-shot swing to claim her first win of the 2013 season. With the $270,000 winner’s check, Feng crossed the $3 million mark in career earnings and said the victory this week was just as sweet as her major championship last year at the Wegmans LPGA Championship.

“I would say I'm as happy as when I won the major last year,” said Feng. “This is our first time to have an LPGA event in Beijing, and Reignwood is my new sponsor, so I really wanted to do well to make them look good. And I think I did a great job. I broke my low score for four rounds, and I think I gave all my best.”

Feng started the final round with a one-shot lead on Lewis but found herself playing catch up for most of day. Lewis jumped out to a hot start with four birdies in her first six holes to take a two-shot lead.

“I mean she started great,” said Feng. “Of course, she started really great with four birdies in the first six holes, and I went from leading by one to down by two. Well, I knew that, you know, she's always a great player. I expected her to make a lot of birdies. And I'm always like, how to say, slow slow player. Like I usually play better on the back side. So I knew it was like an 18 hole challenge, and only the first six wouldn't affect the whole result.”

But a mid-round drought by Lewis opened the door for Feng as she made back-to-back birdies on Nos. 9 and 10 to pull even at 24-under par.

“Stacy has been giving me chances, I think, to let me catch up. But I was a little nervous, and maybe because I really wanted to catch up, so I actually didn't perform as well as I thought until the last hole. After the birdie on 9, I got confidence again, and then tenth hole I just rolled the putt in, and we were tied again.”

After Lewis birdied the No. 13 to pull in front again, the duo both bogeyed the driveable par 4 on No. 14. They exchanged birdies on the 16th hole and headed to the 490 yard par 5 18th with Lewis one shot ahead.

“Well, when I was going to the final hole I was one down, and the last hole is a short par 5, which I thought Stacy was going for, which she didn't, so I was like, oh, maybe she's giving me a chance for playing off,” said Feng. “I never thought I would just hit the second shot so close to the pin I made the eagle.”

Feng hit her second shot just short of the green but miraculous bounce from the rough put it directly on line with the pin. After hitting the flag stick, Feng’s ball rolled to three feet, setting her up for eagle.

“Actually that shot I didn't go for anything,” said Feng. “I aimed like at the center of the green, just wanted to have a chance to putt, and I actually pushed it a little bit, so it was it was right in line with the pin, but I thought it was a little short. And then suddenly while I was walking I heard the noise when I crowd went like, "wow!" I was like, what happened? I was like, ‘it must be good because they kept going.’ I was like, ‘I must be close.’”

Lewis missed an 18-foot birdie putt to force a playoff and allowed Feng to seal the deal with the longest three-foot putt she’s ever had.

“I mean last year when I won the major I had a three foot putt to win, too,” said Feng. “But I ended up winning by two there. I think this one because when I was over in the States last year, I wasn't in the final group, so not many people were watching.

“So this time I'm in the last group, playing with Stacy,” said Feng. “I mean we were the only two that were competing. And then all the crowds were going for me, so I actually, you know, I started to aim, line up, and then the longer I stood there, I started to feel like a little shaky, I was like nervous, just wanted to get it done.”

Where’d it go?
Heading to the last hole with a one-shot lead, Stacy Lewis wanted to stick her game plan to close out the event on top. But after laying up on the short par 5 18th hole and seeing Shanshan Feng get a lucky bounce on her second shot, the 28-year old said the win felt like it was pulled out from under her.

“I kind of just feel like it was just taken from me,” said Lewis. “You’d like to win on good shot but obviously it wasn’t a good shot. It’s very frustrating…I mean I played well. It was hard to see there at the end so it was hard to make putts. Early some of the hole locations were hard so it just played tougher today. I played really solid. I stuck to my game plan all day. I just came up one putt short.”

With her runner-up finish, Lewis earns her 15th top-10 this season and extends her lead in the Kia Drive to the Top Award for most top-10’s by four over Suzann Pettersen.

After finishing the week with all four rounds in the 60’s (68-66-65-68) Lewis took the lead from Pettersen in the Vare Trophy race for low scoring average and improved to 69.56.

Golden Ticket Winners:
Cristel Boeljon, Sun Young Yoo and Paola Moreno punched their "Ticket to CME Group Titleholders" at the Reignwood LPGA Classic, each earning a spot in the season-ending CME Group Titleholders event, which will be held Nov. 21-24, 2012 in Naples, Fla. The third-annual CME Group Titleholders is a season finale with a field made up of three qualifiers from every LPGA Tour tournament.


STACY LEWIS, Rolex Rankings No. 3

Q. I don’t think you really expected that finish?
STACY LEWIS: I kind of just feel like it was just taken from me. You’d like to win on good shot but obviously it wasn’t a good shot. It’s very frustrating. It was a frustrating day just with the crowds and dealing with all that. It was hard to play today.

Q. You didn’t play badly by any means, does that help with dealing with it at all?
STACY LEWIS: I mean I played well. It was hard to see there at the end so it was hard to make putts. Early some of the hole locations were hard so it just played tougher today. I played really solid. I stuck to my game plan all day. I just came up one putt short.

Q. Did you foresee that coming after you guys still battle each other all day?
STACY LEWIS: I knew even if I got off to a really good start, I knew she would be there at the end. I knew it was going to come down to 18 and that’s the bottom line. My game plan was I was going to do my plan to make birdie. I wasn’t ever going for it with the yardage that I had. It wasn’t even in question. I stuck to my game plan and did what I wanted to do and unfortunately it wasn’t enough.

Q. You said Shanshan has deserved all the attention that she’s garnered this week and rightfully so with that finish.
STACY LEWIS: To play in front of your hometown crowd like that is tough and she played really well all week. Just got a really nice bounce there.



SHANSHAN FENG, Rolex Rankings No. 9


Q. All right. I'm now joined by our 2013 Reignwood LPGA Classic champion, Shanshan Feng. Shanshan, could you have dreamed up a better ending to this week? I mean unbelievable?
SHANSHAN FENG: Well, when I was going to the final hole I was one down, and the last hole is a short par 5, which I thought Stacy was going for, which she didn't, so I was like, oh, maybe she's giving me a chance for playing off.
I never thought I would just hit the second shot so close to the pin I made the eagle.

Q. When you saw that ball hit the pin what was going through your mind?
SHANSHAN FENG: Well, actually that shot I didn't go for anything. I aimed like at the center of the green, just wanted to have a chance to putt, and I actually pushed it a little bit, so it was it was right in line with the pin, but I thought it was a little short.
And then suddenly while I was walking I heard the noise when I crowd went like, "wow!" I was like, what happened? I was like, it must be good because they kept going. I was like, I must be close.

Q. Well, it was more than good. It set you up for your second LPGA Tour win. You're a major champion, but this win has to feel so, so good.
SHANSHAN FENG: Well, I would say I'm as happy as when I won the major last year. This is our first time to have an LPGA event in Beijing, and Reignwood is my new sponsor, so I really wanted to do well to make them look good.
And I think I did a great job. I broke my low score for four rounds, and I think I gave all my best.

Q. Well, what an amazing week. Kudos to you. Congratulations. Thanks for joining us.
SHANSHAN FENG: Thank you.

Q. So Stacy got off to a fast start. I mean she got off and you kind of were trailing. Obviously you were not going to give up. You had no give up mentality. What was going through your mind when she got off to that fast start?
SHANSHAN FENG: Oh, I mean she started great. Of course, she started really great with four birdies in the first six holes, and I went from leading by one to down by two.
Well, I knew that, you know, she's always a great player. I expected her to make a lot of birdies. And I'm always like, how to say, slow slow player. Like I usually play better on the back side. So I knew it was like an 18 hole challenge, and only the first six wouldn't affect the whole result.

Q. How big were the two birdies on 9 and 10? That was a big time turnaround. How big were those in a momentum shift?
SHANSHAN FENG: I think I actually hit my second shots on the par 5s really well today. I mean that ninth hole I was able to hit it on by two and two putt it, which Stacy, her ball was pretty close to my ball, but she chose not to go forward. So she gave me a chance there actually to get closer.
And then after the birdie on 9, I got confidence again, and then tenth hole I just rolled the putt in, and we were tied again.

Q. What about so the back nine, the back stretch was exciting, as I think everybody expected. You missed a couple putts coming in. You missed that eagle putt. Talk about those last couple holes coming down the stretch.
SHANSHAN FENG: Yeah, I mean 14 we both made bogeys. That was kind of a tricky hole. Both of us I think we read it wrong. So we both made bogeys. On the easy par 4, the 15, we both missed a birdie. Stacy has been giving me chances, I think, to let me catch up. But I was a little nervous, and maybe because I really wanted to catch up, so I actually didn't perform as well as I thought until the last hole.

Q. And then the last hole just you went for it, and at first you didn't think it was very good. Did you think it was going in the water at first? I saw you kind of
SHANSHAN FENG: No, not in the water, but in the rough. I didn't think it was long enough to get on the green.

Q. And then three-footer for eagle. Could you imagine finishing off like that? I mean eagle on the 18th hole to win.
SHANSHAN FENG: Actually it wasn't tap in. It was like a three feet putt.

Q. Three feet. Was that a long three footer? The longest three footer you've ever had?
SHANSHAN FENG: I mean last year when I won the major I had a three foot putt to win, too.

Q. Which one were you more shaky over?
SHANSHAN FENG: But I ended up winning by two there. I think this one because when I was over in the States last year, I wasn't in the final group, so not many people were watching.
So this time I'm in the last group, playing with Stacy. I mean we were the only two that were competing. And then all the crowds were going for me, so I actually, you know, I started to aim, line up, and then the longer I stood there, I started to feel like a little shaky, I was like nervous, just wanted to get it done.

 

 

Topics: Notes and Interviews, Feng, Shanshan, Reignwood LPGA Classic

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