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Thursday, October 27, 2016
Shanshan wants to smile her way to another LPGA Malaysia title
KUALA LUMPUR: China golfer Feng Shanshan may have stumbled upon the solution to her golfing woes – play with a smile.
According to her, that’s all it has taken to regain her confidence and get her game back in the groove after almost two years without a LPGA Tour title.
And she’s hoping it will all culminate with her winning her first LPGA Tour title of the year when she competes in the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia at the TPC Kuala Lumpur from Thursday.
Shanshan has gone through a barren run since winning the last LPGA Tour title – the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia in 2014.
And she blames it on a change of clubs last season.
“I changed my clubs last season and it took a little bit of time to get used to them, so I lost confidence and my ranking (world and money) dropped.
“But when I went over to Rio de Janeiro (for the Olympics in August), which I knew we would be televised all over the world and that not only the people who play golf would watch us but everyone, I made sure that whenever I was shooting, I would smile all the time ... and I think that really helped me.
“I was patient, I enjoyed my time and the result was good. I ended up snatching the bronze medal ... after that, I got my confidence back and I started to play well again,” said world No. 11 Shanshan.
After the Olympics, with her confidence boosted, she enjoyed four straight top-five finishes – at the Evian Championship (fourth, Sept 18); Reignwood LPGA Classic (joint fourth, Oct 2); Fubon Taiwan Championship (second, Oct 9); and the LPGA KEB Hanabank Championship (joint third, Oct 16).
Now that she’s back in familiar territory – at a tournament she has been competing in since 2010 – Shanshan intends to take a shot at the title.
“I’d like to win at least one tournament on the LPGA this year, but there aren’t many left. I know I have a good record here (in Malaysia).
“If I win, I win. If I don’t, I’ll still have another chance. I enjoy playing here. It makes me feel at home because there are Chinese people here as well. I’m actually more relaxed,” said Shanshan.