Saturday, February 17, 2018
Sports

China's Feng wins first

PITTSFORD, N.Y. — Shanshan Feng set two personal goals this year on the LPGA Tour. She reached them both with one memorable round.

Feng won the LPGA Championship on Sunday to become the first Chinese player to win an LPGA Tour title and a major event, closing with 5-under 67 for a two-stroke victory.

"I am so excited right now," Feng said. "I did it! I don't know how to celebrate. It happened too soon. I'm going to miss my flight (today). I might just go home. Who knows? I want to see my parents. I'm sure they want to see me."

More than likely.

Feng, 22, the only player from China on the tour, had the lowest round of the tournament at the right time and finished at 6-under 282.

Feng, who began the day three shots behind third-round leader Eun-Hee Ji, had a bogey-free round to etch her name in the record books. Her fourth top 10 of the year moved her to fifth in the world.

"I never thought, 'I must win.' I knew I was three behind (at the start), so I knew I had a chance," said Feng, who began playing golf at age 10. "I was focusing on every shot. If I win, I win. If I don't, I don't. It just worked out."

Stacy Lewis, bidding to win her third straight stroke-play event on the LPGA Tour, shot 70 to tie for second with Mika Miyazato, Suzann Pettersen and Ji. Miyazato shot 69, Pettersen 70 and Ji 72.

Karrie Webb, who started the day one shot behind Ji, had 72 to finish at 3 under.

Feng became the seventh player to earn her first career victory at the LPGA Championship. Anna Nordqvist in 2008 and defending champion Yani Tseng in 2009 were the last two.

"You knew it was coming at some point. I'm surprised she hasn't won out here," Lewis said.

Seminole's Brittany Lincicome finished with 2-under 70 to move up to a tie for 25th at 4-over 292.

PGA: Dustin Johnson won the St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tenn., in his second event after a back injury cost him nearly three months away from the tour, shooting 4-under 66 to hold off John Merrick by a stroke.

"Well, it feels really good, especially having so much time off," said Johnson, who finished at 9-under 271.

Johnson pulled a muscle in his lower right back in early March lifting a jet ski at his home, and rest was the biggest part of his prescription for healing. He returned to the tour last week at the Memorial, where he tied for 19th.

He began the final round two strokes back and held a piece of the lead three times. He won his sixth career title with consecutive birdies on Nos. 16 and 17.

Johnson said he didn't look at the leaderboard, trying to stay focused on himself.

"And you know, I did that," Johnson said. "I had a lot of looks, lot of good looks and made a few putts coming down the stretch. Made great birdies at 16 and 17."

CHAMPIONS: Tom Lehman withstood rain and a pair of touch challengers to win his second straight Regions Tradition in Birmingham, Ala., finishing the tour major with 4-under 68 to take a two-stroke victory.

Lehman overcame a near-constant drizzle and occasional heavy rain plus hard charges by Bernhard Langer and Chien Soon Lu for his sixth tour victory. He finished at 14-under 274. Langer and Lu shot 66 to tie for second.

"I don't mind any condition other than rain," Lehman said. "(Sunday) was a real test of perseverance, just trying to move the ball forward. Don't try to bite off too much, don't get too aggressive. Just play shots I know I can hit."

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