Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old kid who made the cut at the Masters, might be China’s most famous golfer, but Feng Shanshan is undoubtedly China’s best golfer right now (or ever, for that matter). She won the 2012 LPGA Championship to become the country’s first golfer – male or female – to win a major. More than a year later she is finally getting some recognition at home.
With back-to-back 9-under-par rounds of 64 at the Reignwood LPGA Classic, which concludes on Sunday at the Pine Valley Golf Club in Beijing, she stands at 21-under par, holding a one-shot lead over world no. 3 Stacy Lewis going into the final round, as well as a five-shot lead over world no. 1 Inbee Park in third. It’s the first LPGA Tour event held in China for five years, and Feng put her success down to eating duck and drinking beer with some fellow players after Thursday’s opening round. Keep an eye out too for world no. 231 Lin Xiyu (below) who is in 7th place on an extremely competitive leaderboard.
Sponsors Reignwood must be ecstatic with the leaderboard, having just announced an endorsement deal with Feng this week. Reignwood also extended its deal earlier this year with former world no. 1 Yani Tseng, though the Taiwanese star has since plunged to no. 20 in the rankings. More interestingly, Reignwood has in the past offered ludicrous amounts of money for Tseng to play under the China flag, the highest profile example yet of Taiwanese athletes under pressure to switch allegiances for the lure of the mighty renminbi.