Chinese golfer signs with IMG

While the world’s press are catching up with news of David Beckham’s CSL deal, a more important signing in the world of Chinese sport in the last week might end up being female golfer Feng Shanshan partnering with IMG.

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Feng Shanshan and the IMG golf team

Feng was the first Chinese player to earn membership on the LPGA Tour after earning her card at qualifying school in 2008 and, last year, became the first major champion from the mainland – male or female – when she won the LPGA Championship. She’s currently ranked number five in the world.

Taiwan’s Tseng Yani has been on top of the rankings for more than two years, but she’s appeared less dominant in recent months, and the feeling is that she could be overhauled in the weeks to come.

Feng, who regards Tseng as a big sister, registered six wins across three different Tours last year to propel herself into the top tier of female golfers. The 23-year-old from Guangzhou doesn’t have the athletic build of some of her rivals, but she has an ability to handle pressure that sets her apart.

IMG’s golf division has endured a difficult time over the past few years, with the departure of several executives, as well as clients including Tiger Woods. But the remaining roster is still impressive, with Luke Donald, Michelle Wie and Annika Sorenstam all staying on board.

Feng will be managed by IMG’s do-it-all golf guy in China,¬†Will Wei (far left in the above picture), and, as fellow IMG client Li Na has shown in tennis, if Feng can remain competitive on the course, her team has a golden opportunity to cash in off it.

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