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Amateur wins on China LPGA

(China Daily)

10:46, August 21, 2012

Chinese amateur Feng Simin captured the 500,000 yuan ($78,600) Wuhan Orient Masters Challenge in dominant fashion on Saturday when the 17-year-old Beijing native closed with one-under 71 for a six-stroke victory to become the first amateur and youngest ever winner on the China LPGA Tour.

The Florida-based teenager shot three consecutive rounds under par at Orient Wuhan, the only player in the field to do so, for a 54-hole score of seven-under 209.

"Definitely it's a great encouragement. This is a professional event with a strong field, it means a lot," Feng said. "It's been a long time since I've won in China. I think the last win was when I was nine-years-old. Since I came home from the USA I have been playing only professional events, so I didn't expect myself to win. So this win is a great honor."

Feng said she had a mini panic attack at the ninth hole when she looked at the leaderboard and saw other players getting closer. She missed a five-footer for birdie at the hole, and then couldn't sink a 12-foot putt for another birdie attempt at the next. On the 11th hole she pulled her tee shot left before a birdie calmed her down at the 12th hole.

"The key to this win was my driver," she said. "The driver helped me a lot and I also limited my mistakes. I also have a good coach in David Leadbetter, he taught me a lot."

Liu Yu added to the strong showing of amateurs when the 16-year-old birdied the final hole for a 71 to share the runner-up honor with Yan Panpan (73).

Thailand's Narisara Kerdrit (74) was fourth.

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