(Reuters) - China’s Shanshan Feng is projected to take over the women’s world number one ranking after she completed back-to-back victories with a one-stroke win at the Blue Bay LPGA at home on Sunday.
Feng hit a final round two under-par 70 for a total of nine-under 279 to finish ahead of Thai Moriya Jutanugarn, who agonizingly witnessed her birdie attempt on the final hole lip out and with it the chance of leveling the scores.
Last Sunday, the 28-year-old Feng defended an LPGA title for the first time when she secured a two-shot victory at the TOTO Japan Classic and the Chinese is projected to take over the women’s top ranking from Park Sung-hyun of South Korea.
“I’m really, really excited and very proud of myself and I think it’s special because I won this tournament to become world number one,” Feng said after becoming the first golfer from China to top the world rankings.
“I finished first in China, so I actually claimed the world number one in front of all the people at home. I’m really happy about that, and I hope all the Chinese are going to be watching me and the Chinese can play golf.
“Hopefully there will be more Chinese getting on the tours and more world number ones coming up from China.”
Park was among a quartet of golfers to finish tied for third.
It was the year’s third title on the U.S.-based circuit for Feng, who mixed four birdies with two bogeys in her final round.
Feng had to make par after Moriya’s miss and she was cheered on to victory by the fans and then showered with water by her fellow Chinese golfers.
“I just want 2017 keep going. A never-ending 2017, that would be great,” said Feng.
“I was not trying to watch (Moriya) because I know that... even though she made it, I still have to make my par putt. But she just missed it and now I’ve got a trophy in my hand.”
Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Greg Stutchbury