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As meaningful as the shock victory was for Feng Shanshan at the LPGA Championship on Sunday, it could resonate far more in China, which opened its first golf course in 1984, only five years before Feng was born.
"Golf wasn't that popular in China," Feng said. "I was lucky to have a chance to start."
Feng, who asked television commentators to call her "Jenny", said that she had planned to play upcoming LPGA events.
Instead, she will celebrate her victory with a trip home to China. She plans to play July 5-8 in the US Women's Open.
A startled Feng exclaimed, "Oh my God," when she saw the winner's trophy and where her name would be engraved beside that of World No 1 Tseng Ya-ni of Taiwan, the five-time major winner who owns three victories this season.
Feng said she and Tseng get along well and Feng one day hopes to match Tseng's success by reaching the top of the rankings.
"I'm still chasing her," Feng said. "But maybe I got a little closer."
In a strong amateur career in China, Feng won nine titles, including the China Women's Amateur title from 2004 through 2006.
Feng shared the runner-up spot in February's HSBC Women's Champions event in Singapore to match her best LPGA result to that point, runner-up efforts in last year's Mizuno Classic and the 2008 Bell Micro LPGA Classic.
"This means a lot for me," Feng said.
"This is my fifth year on the tour. I had no wins. I was down. I was thinking, 'Could I win again?' Now I know I can win again."
(China Daily 06/12/2012 page23)