Feng Shanshan came into the the $645,000 Dubai Ladies Masters as the highest ranked player in the field and she proved her credentials with an emphatic five-shot victory in the season-ending championship of the Ladies European Tour.
At the par-72 Majlis course of Emirates Golf Club, the world No.6 produced her worst round of the tournament – a three-under par 69 – but that was good enough to beat the second placed Dewi Claire Schreefel of Netherlands.
Feng’s four-day tally of 21-under par 267 was the lowest in the history of the tournament, beating the previous mark of 18-under par by Annika Sorenstam in 2006 and In Kyung-Kim in 2009.
Schreefel, who shot a tournament record 63 yesterday, closed with a 69 for second place at 16-under par 272, while Becky Brewerton of Wales moved to tied third place along with Germany’s Caroline Masson (71) on 12-under-par 276 with the day’s lowest round of 65.
“Very happy to have won both Rookie of the Year and the Money List in the same year. It’s been a great year and I just want to celebrate with my family and friends”
Spain’s Carlota Ciganda
Masson also lost out on winning the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit crown. She needed to finish second after Spain’s Carlota Ciganda closed the tournament with a final-round 68, which gave her a tied 10th place finish.
In the end, Ciganda emulated Laura Davies’ 27-year-old feat of winning the Order of Merit in her rookie year with earnings of $325,000. Masson was second at $310,000, while Feng moved to third place at $260,000.
Feng, who increased her overnight lead of five shots early with an eagle on the par-5 third, was never in trouble. Her only bogey of the day came on the fifth hole, but she sailed through with two more birdies after that.
“At the beginning of the day, I told myself that I needed to shoot a five-under par 67 round and nobody would be able to catch me thereafter. That did not happen, but a 69 was really a good round considering there was a bit of wind out there on the golf course and nobody made a charge at me,” said Feng, the LPGA Championship winner who recorded her sixth win of the season and eighth since August last year.
On winning the Order of Merit, Ciganda said: “It’s unbelievable. I have worked very hard for this and I am very lucky.
“Very happy to have won both Rookie of the Year and the Money List in the same year. It’s been a great year and I just want to celebrate with my family and friends.”
Defending champion Alexis Thompson of the United States could do no better than a two-under par 70 on the final day and finished tied 10th at 279, while her compatriot Michelle Wie completed a difficult tournament with a 69 that elevated her to tied 19th place at six-under par 282.