Shanshan Feng captured her second win in as many weeks with a one-shot victory over Ha Na Jang at the TOTO Japan Classic.
“Before this week, I’ve won 16 times as a professional but I’d never got back-to-back wins,” Feng said. “Yesterday after my round I got an interview and people were asking me ‘what do you think about maybe winning back-to-back?” and I said it’d be interesting if I do it so I feel really happy right now.”
Feng made par on her first eight holes of the day before reeling off three-straight birdies on 9, 10 and 11 to pull ahead for good.
“I didn’t make my first birdie until the ninth hole,” Feng said. “The first eight holes it was all pars. I wasn’t actually striking the ball very well and then I didn’t give myself many birdie chances. Putting was ok and then after the eighth hole I said to the others in my group “we are the last group so we need to start making birdies” and then the ninth hole I had a very good chance and made it and then 10th and 11th were great birdies.”
After a birdie on the 17th to put her up three-shots, the six-time LPGA winner made things interesting with a double-bogey on the 18th.
“Normally I have a habit where I don’t look at leaderboards when I play but I accidentally saw the board when I was on the 17th green so I actually knew I was leading by three going into the last hole,” Feng said. “Then I hit the drive left and hit it on the green with my third shot and then I thought easy two putt but the first putt I just hit it way too hard and the second putt I missed and left myself a three footer and said “it’s time to make this putt”. I don’t want to lose by making a triple bogey on the last but I made it and it was pressure relieved.”
Feng has been on fire since her bronze medal performance at the Olympic Games as she has yet to finish outside the top-4 in her last six events since Rio with a pair of wins.
“Recently I’ve been playing really well,” Feng said. “I won last week in Malaysia so coming into this week I had a lot of confidence and I’m feeling really comfortable. I knew that I would have a chance because I’ve always liked the Japanese courses that I’ve played and I’ve played well in Japan. I didn’t really think too much until I won the tournament. I think it’s special because in my 16 professional victories this is the first time I won back-to-back so it really gave me a lot of confidence and I’m really happy that I can win in Japan again. Hopefully the Japanese fans are happy for me seeing me win again in Japan.”