Gilchrist student Shanshan Feng was inches from claiming her second tour win of the 2014 LPGA season.
Feng, of China, forced a playoff with Christina Kim after firing a 6-under 66 in the final round of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Sunday.
Feng, who is currently ranked No. 5 in the Rolex Rankings, nearly won on No. 18 but left her birdie try on on the first playoff hole just inches shy, extending the playoff for at least one more hole. After hitting her tee shot left on the second playoff hole, Feng was forced to chip out sideways into the fairway. With Kim already pin high, 20 feet right of the hole, Feng hit her 9-iron approach to 25 feet. Her par putt slid by the right edge, and Kim two-putted for the emotional victory.
“Shanshan did an incredible job during her final round where she finished with a round total of 66, but I was even more amazed by how graciously she reacted to such a close match,” stated Gary Gilchrist, Feng’s coach. “I am just really proud of everything that she has been able to accomplish recently. She has been really on top of her game.”
Feng initially trailed Kim by 5 strokes, but was able to tie Kim on the 15th hole when she chipped in for birdie.
Feng has been on a torrid pace of late with four top-7 finishes in her last five starts, coming off her recent victory at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, her fourth career win on the LPGA Tour.
“I kind of felt a little upset for her because she hasn’t won for so long. After she made the par putt in the playoff, I lost and she won, and I saw her, you know, she jumped up and she was really happy.” Feng said shortly after the playoff. “And I felt the same thing – I was really happy for her because she’s a good player, good person. So she’s supposed to play well.”