CME Group Titleholders
Tiburón Golf Club
Final-Round Notes and Interviews
November 24, 2013
China’s Shanshan Feng outdueled a star-studded leaderboard at the season-ending CME Group Titleholders in Naples, Fla. for her third-career victory. Feng shot one of the low rounds of the day on Sunday with a bogey-free 6-under 66 to finish at 15-under 273, one shot ahead of American and third-round co-leader Gerina Piller. Feng takes home the Tour’s largest winner’s check this season with $700,000 and crossed the $4 million mark in career earnings ($4,057,656.50).
The win marks Feng’s second victory in her last four starts, and she finished the 2013 season on a string of solid performances. Her final four events included a win at the Reignwood LPGA Classic, runner-up at the Sime Darby Malaysia, a tie for eighth at the Mizuno Classic and a win this week in Naples.
“I think it was a magic when I won in China, I had a little luck on the second shot on 18th hole and I made the eagle,” said Feng. “I think it started from that win again I got confidence back, and I did really well in Malaysia, too. I was like ‘Oh, no, I only have two more tournaments this season, so I hope I still have 10 more so I can keep up the good game, but I'm still really happy.”
Feng started the final round two shots off the lead and picked up four of her six birdies on her first six holes.
“Even though I didn't set my goal as winning in the beginning but I started the round really strong, I was 4‑under through 6 and I knew I was up there and the pressure was starting to get in my mind,” said Feng. “As you could see, I didn't make many putts. Even though my iron game was really, really accurate, I think that's why I won.”
Feng made the turn at 13-under-par and had Piller, Pornanong Phatlum and Sandra Gal trailing on her heels on the back nine. She held a two-shot lead through 12 holes until Gal and Piller both birdied the par-4 14th hole and Phatlum cut to within one with a birdie of her own on 15.
After an eight-hole birdie drought, Feng picked up her final two birdies on Nos. 15 and 17 to give her a one-shot lead heading to the 18th hole. Piller, who was playing one group behind Feng in the final pairing, hit a phenomenal second shot on the par-4 18th leaving her with a 10-foot birdie putt to force a playoff.
“The second shot, it was kind of on an upslope so I figured if I just get it up in the wind the more it will carry, and the higher I hit it the softer it's going to land,” said Piller. “I had some juices going so I just took a 7 iron and that's what you practice for. So I just stood over it and said just trust yourself and I hit it pretty good and it ended up really good. The putt, I thought it was going right, I didn't know it was going to break that much, and just I was happy with the way I hit the putt, I just didn't read enough break.”
Feng clinched her second win of the season, a goal she set at the beginning of 2013 and finally achieved at the very last event on the schedule. It was the first time in her seven-year career the China native notched two wins in one season.
“I had a goal early this year with winning two tournaments on the LPGA and I got one in China,” said Feng. “I actually didn't think I was going to achieve my goal, but I made it at the last minute at the last tournament in Florida, so I'm really, really happy.”