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TOTO Japan Classic

Round 3 - Shanshan Feng retains TOTO Japan Classic

November 05, 2017
Embed from Getty Images

Shanshan Feng is the first player on the LPGA Tour who has successfully defended her title in 2017. She played a final round 68 for a 19-under, 197 total.

“That was my goal, before I started the week, to defend my title. My caddie told me: ‘This week, you're going to be first. Two weeks ago, you finished third. Last week, you finished second, so you know what comes after that… first.' I was like, OK, let's go for it,” said Feng. “Here I am, and I'm really happy.” 

Feng started the day with two bogeys on the first three holes but managed to turn it around and was at 4-under by the 11th then battled birdie for birdie with Ai Suzuki before Suzuki bogeyed the final hole.

“Her ball striking is so good. She left herself so many birdie chances and I was freaked out,” Feng said with a laugh. “Before I started the round, I told myself to not look at the other scores and just go to 21-under par. I played very well. I'm very honoured and happy to play well in Asia, as an Asian.”

This was Feng's second victory this season following the LPGA Volvik Championship last May.

Anna Nordqvist finished third with a 6-under 66 and made a hole-in-one on the par-3 3rd. This is her sixth top-10 of the season, two of those victories.

Lizette Salas came in fourth at 13-under with a final round 4-under 68. It was her four top-5 finish in the last five weeks and her seventh top-10 this year.

Pos. Player Scores Total To Par Prize Money
1 Shanshan Feng 66 - 63 - 68 197 -19 $225,000.00
2 Ai Suzuki 66 - 65 - 68 199 -17 $137,536.00
3 Anna Nordqvist 67 - 68 - 66 201 -15 $99,772.00

Click here for full scores & prize money.

Round 2 - Shanshan Feng poised to defend her title

November 04, 2017 Embed from Getty Images

Defending champion Shanshan Feng has taken solo lead of the TOTO Japan Classic with a 9-under 63 that included seven birdies and an eagle.

“What was working well was my putting today. The first three holes those birdies weren't very short, and on the third hole after I hit the ball, when the ball was like halfway I stopped and looked at Mercer [caddie] and I was like ‘oh my god that thing is going in' and then it went in. I was shocked, because that wasn't a very usual start for a round, but then after that I kind of kept my good putting going on and finished with a 9-under,” said Feng.

Feng is hoping for a second victory this year following the LPGA Volvik Championship in May and has been working her way up the leaderboards finishing T2 and T3 in the last two events.

“It's not my first time leading a tournament, but of course it's my first time maybe I'm not too far away from a title defense,” said Feng. “Of course, before I came I was like, ‘if I can do it, it would be great,' but the most important thing I think is to enjoy the whole process and then playing with Ai tomorrow will be fun.”

Ai Suzuki fired a 7-under 65 to take second place two shots behind. Charley Hull and Min-Young Lee are tied for third at 10-under.

“Pretty much all round I played pretty good, but I still left some shots out there,” said Hull. “But I'm happy with my round.” 

A group of five players are tied at 9-under including local players Momoko Ueda and Ayaka Watanabe as well as Stacy Lewis, Lizette Salas and Anna Nordqvist who is hoping for a third victory this year.

Another five players are tied at 8-under including So Yeon Ryu, still struggling with a shoulder injury, and Lydia Ko.

Ko is still working on her swing with her coach via videos.

“I haven't seen my coach in a few months – being on the road, it's hard to work on a lot of things, so for me it's key to be simple,” she said. “Putting and driving are always going to be important no matter what tournament you play, so those are things I'll always be working on, to try to be more consistent.”

Danielle Kang has withdrawn from the tournament due to injury.

Round 1 - Seven-way tie in Japan

November 03, 2017 Embed from Getty Images

Seven players are currently tied at the top of the TOTO Japan Classic leaderboard. Defending champion Shanshan Feng, Lizette Salas, Jane Park, Min-Young Lee, Nasa Hataoka, Saiki Fujita and Ai Suzuki are all tied at 6-under.

Feng started off slowly and only got to 1-under in the first eleven holes but she made up for it with five birdies in the last seven putting her in position to be the first player to defend her title in 2017.

“I did start the day slowly, just like usual, and then I got my first birdie on the eighth hole finally. After that I was like that's just the first of many, and then my ball striking was very good on the back nine,” said Fang. “My 5-iron was really working so it left me a lot of birdie chances and I even missed one five-foot birdie. I still made like four in a row in the last five holes so I'm really happy about that.”

Feng has been on form lately finishing in the top seven five times in her last six starts.

“What I did today was good, and I think I just stick to my same plan,” she explained. “I believe if my ball striking is as good as normal then I'll give myself a lot of birdie chances every day. So, if my putting is working I should be able to shoot lower scores.” 

Salas, who started with a bogey then produced seven birdies, is also looking good finishing in the top five three times in her last four starts.

“I feel really confident with these greens,” she said. “They're slick (and) they're fast, which are the kind of greens I like to be on. My iron play has been improving so far, and I've been making clutch putts when I need to.”

Scores

Pos. Player Scores Total To Par Prize Money
1 Shanshan Feng 66 - 63 - 68 197 -19 $225,000.00
2 Ai Suzuki 66 - 65 - 68 199 -17 $137,536.00
3 Anna Nordqvist 67 - 68 - 66 201 -15 $99,772.00
4 Lizette Salas 66 - 69 - 68 203 -13 $77,182.00
5T Moriya Jutanugarn 71 - 67 - 66 204 -12 $40,716.00
5T Sarah Jane Smith 71 - 67 - 66 204 -12 $40,716.00
5T Mi Hyang Lee 68 - 70 - 66 204 -12 $40,716.00
5T Minjee Lee 70 - 67 - 67 204 -12 $40,716.00
5T Mamiko Higa 69 - 68 - 67 204 -12 $40,716.00
5T Lydia Ko 68 - 68 - 68 204 -12 $40,716.00
5T Ayaka Watanabe 68 - 67 - 69 204 -12 $40,716.00
12T Serena Aoki 71 - 67 - 67 205 -11 $24,748.00
12T Sei Young Kim 67 - 70 - 68 205 -11 $24,748.00
12T Charley Hull 70 - 64 - 71 205 -11 $24,748.00
15T In Gee Chun 69 - 70 - 67 206 -10 $18,256.00
15T Angel Yin 69 - 69 - 68 206 -10 $18,256.00
15T Jiyai Shin 73 - 64 - 69 206 -10 $18,256.00
15T Saki Takeo 69 - 68 - 69 206 -10 $18,256.00
15T Jane Park 66 - 71 - 69 206 -10 $18,256.00
15T Teresa Lu 69 - 67 - 70 206 -10 $18,256.00
15T Pei-Ying Tsai 68 - 68 - 70 206 -10 $18,256.00
15T Stacy Lewis 68 - 67 - 71 206 -10 $18,256.00
15T Min-Young Lee 66 - 68 - 72 206 -10 $18,256.00
24T Sun-Ju Ahn 69 - 69 - 69 207 -9 $14,119.00
24T Chae-Young Yoon 67 - 71 - 69 207 -9 $14,119.00
24T Yukari Nishiyama 68 - 69 - 70 207 -9 $14,119.00
24T Momoko Ueda 69 - 66 - 72 207 -9 $14,119.00
28T Haruka Morita-WanyaoLu 74 - 67 - 67 208 -8 $11,837.00
28T Megan Khang 72 - 68 - 68 208 -8 $11,837.00
28T Jeong Eun Lee 70 - 69 - 69 208 -8 $11,837.00
28T Caroline Masson 68 - 70 - 70 208 -8 $11,837.00
28T Saiki Fujita 66 - 72 - 70 208 -8 $11,837.00
33T Marina Alex 75 - 68 - 66 209 -7 $8,919.00
33T Shoko Sasaki 73 - 67 - 69 209 -7 $8,919.00
33T Lexi Thompson 68 - 72 - 69 209 -7 $8,919.00
33T Jodi Ewart Shadoff 71 - 68 - 70 209 -7 $8,919.00
33T Ritsuko Ryu 70 - 69 - 70 209 -7 $8,919.00
33T Eri Okayama 70 - 68 - 71 209 -7 $8,919.00
33T Nasa Hataoka 66 - 71 - 72 209 -7 $8,919.00
33T Brittany Altomare 68 - 68 - 73 209 -7 $8,919.00
33T So Yeon Ryu 68 - 68 - 73 209 -7 $8,919.00
42T Austin Ernst 73 - 69 - 68 210 -6 $6,796.00
42T Brooke M. Henderson 71 - 69 - 70 210 -6 $6,796.00
42T Chella Choi 69 - 71 - 70 210 -6 $6,796.00
42T Karine Icher 69 - 69 - 72 210 -6 $6,796.00
46T Kana Mikashima 73 - 70 - 68 211 -5 $5,622.00
46T Misuzu Narita 69 - 74 - 68 211 -5 $5,622.00
46T Hee-Kyung Bae 74 - 68 - 69 211 -5 $5,622.00
46T Michelle Wie 76 - 65 - 70 211 -5 $5,622.00
46T Rie Tsuji 73 - 68 - 70 211 -5 $5,622.00
46T Eun-Hee Ji 68 - 71 - 72 211 -5 $5,622.00
52T Suzann Pettersen 74 - 69 - 69 212 -4 $4,300.00
52T Angela Stanford 71 - 72 - 69 212 -4 $4,300.00
52T Fumika Kawagishi 71 - 71 - 70 212 -4 $4,300.00
52T Haru Nomura 70 - 72 - 70 212 -4 $4,300.00
52T Soo-Yun Kang 71 - 70 - 71 212 -4 $4,300.00
52T Kana Nagai 71 - 70 - 71 212 -4 $4,300.00
52T Jacqui Concolino 70 - 70 - 72 212 -4 $4,300.00
52T Asako Fujimoto 68 - 71 - 73 212 -4 $4,300.00
52T Asuka Kashiwabara 69 - 69 - 74 212 -4 $4,300.00
52T Jenny Shin 68 - 70 - 74 212 -4 $4,300.00
62T Jennifer Song 69 - 73 - 71 213 -3 $3,577.00
62T Jessica Korda 72 - 69 - 72 213 -3 $3,577.00
64T Pornanong Phatlum 73 - 69 - 72 214 -2 $3,426.00
64T Hyo Joo Kim 69 - 73 - 72 214 -2 $3,426.00
66 Ji-Hee Lee 70 - 73 - 72 215 -1 $3,313.00
67T Lala Anai 74 - 76 - 66 216 E $3,163.00
67T Kotone Hori 72 - 72 - 72 216 E $3,163.00
67T Erika Kikuchi 70 - 73 - 73 216 E $3,163.00
70 Ariya Jutanugarn 69 - 74 - 74 217 1 $3,012.00
71 Candie Kung 74 - 73 - 71 218 2 $2,975.00
72T Su Oh 77 - 72 - 70 219 3 $2,917.00
72T Mi Jung Hur 75 - 73 - 71 219 3 $2,917.00
74T Rumi Yoshiba 75 - 73 - 72 220 4 $2,844.00
74T Yumiko Yoshida 72 - 74 - 74 220 4 $2,844.00
76 Miyu Shinkai 72 - 74 - 76 222 6 $2,791.00
WDC Danielle Kang 72 72 E $0.00

 

Preview

DATES: November 03-05
SITE: Taiheiyo Club (Minori Course), Omitama, Ibaraki, Japan
PRIZE MONEY: $1,500,000
Click here for tournament stats & info


Henderson hoping to stay perfect in Japan

The last time World No. 13 Brooke Henderson was in Japan, she was hoisting the individual title trophy at the 2014 Women’s World Amateur Games in Karuizawa. Henderson is making her first start at the TOTO Japan Classic, and a win this week would bring her record to 2-0 when playing in Japan.

“Playing in the World Am a few years ago, was a highlight of my amateur career, and experiencing playing in Japan for the first time was really cool,” Henderson said. “Going into Tokyo and doing a few extra things made it extremely memorable and I’ve been really looking forward to this visit back.”

Henderson is in top form heading into the TOTO Japan Classic finishing in the top 10 in three of her last four starts, including her second victory of the 2017 season at the MCKAYSON New Zealand Women’s Open.

“I’d like to get another top 10, of course a win would be amazing, but top 10 is my goal,” Henderson said. “Keep the streak alive a little bit, but just to continue to play well and improve my world ranking and position in the Race to the CME Globe. Hopefully this week will be a boost in that direction.”

Entering this week, Henderson is fourth in the Race to the CME Globe standings, 241 points behind third place So Yeon Ryu. If Henderson holds her position in the top five, she will control her own destiny at the CME Group Tour Championship, meaning if she wins in Naples she will win the $1M CME Globe.

Shanshan Feng looking for first title defense

Fresh off a runner-up finish in her title defense at Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, Shanshan Feng is playing well and poised for another stab at a successful title defense. In her last six starts, Feng has finished in the top seven five times, and is looking forward to another great week.

“As a defending champion of course you have more pressure, people will be expecting you to do well again,” Feng said. “I think I’ve had seven wins on the LPGA so far, and the first six times I didn’t defend my title, so if I can actually defend my title this week of course that would be great because that would be my first time to do it on the LPGA. I’m feeling good about this tournament this week. The course is in great shape and my condition is pretty good so I’m really looking forward to it.”

After winning Bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Feng went on an absolute tear with seven straight top-eight finishes including back-to-back wins at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia and the TOTO Japan Classic.

“Last year was different because I really picked up confidence in the Olympics,” Feng said. “Before the Olympics, I was kind of struggling a little bit, I was trying to push myself too hard and couldn’t enjoy being on the course. After the Olympics I figured out how to enjoy being on the course, and not to focus on the score only. After that, I just played so well. Normally, I play pretty well in Asia, I think because I’m an Asian and coming back to Asia, having Asian food, speaking Chinese to a lot of people and seeing the Asian fans. I’m just so excited.”

Feng played on the JLPGA Tour for a few years where she won six times, and has quite the following of fans cheering her on this week at the Taiheyo Club.

“I know there’s actually a lot of Chinese people in Japan, so a lot of them will come to the tournament and watch,” Feng said. “Even Japanese people when they’re watching, they’re so nice to me, they’ll actually try to speak Chinese to me, they’ll say ‘Come On’ in Chinese and it makes me feel special and makes me feel like I am welcome. I love the fans here, and every time coming back I know there will be many people watching us so I’m feeling great.”

Shanshan Feng when Defending a Title:

Victory                                         Title Defense

2016 TOTO Japan Classic                        ???

2016 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia               T2

2014 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia               T2

2013 Reignwood LPGA Classic                 T49

2013 CME Group Titleholders                  T12

2012 Wegmans LPGA Championship         T9  

Quick hits

• Three players in the history of the TOTO Japan Classic have successfully defended their titles: Annika Sorenstam (2001-2005), Woo-Soon Ko (1994, 1995) and Betsy King (1992, 1993)
• Tournament records: 63 - Lowest round in tournament history; most recently shot by Sakura Yokomine in the second round in 2011; 192 - Lowest 54-hole score (-24), set by Annika Sorenstam in 2003
• In 2017, Shanshan Feng has made 19 starts on the LPGA with 10 top-10 finishes and a victory at the LPGA Volvik Championship in May
• The TOTO Japan Classic marks Feng’s 12th start since her victory at the 2017 LPGA Volvik Championship
• Feng has made five starts at the TOTO Japan Classic, with three top 10 finishes
• No LPGA players in 2017 have successfully defended their titles yet
• In 2017, Brooke Henderson has eight top 10 finishes, including two victories to her name: the Meijer LPGA Classic in June and the MCKAYSON New Zealand Women’s Open one month ago
• This is Henderson’s first start at the TOTO Japan Classic
• This week’s TOTO Japan Classic will mark the 31st event in the season-long Race to CME Globe, with just Japan and Blue Bay LPGA to go until the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship
• World No. 3 and two-time season winner Lexi Thompson holds a narrow lead in the current Race to the CME Globe standings with 3,266 points. World No. 2 and two-time season winner Sung Hyun Park is close behind with 3,029 points, and she is followed closely by World No. 1 So Yeon Ryu with 3,026 points.

Quotable

“I think you’ll need to hit it extremely well off the tee and on your approach shots to give yourself good birdie opportunities, and just make it a lot easier on yourself. It’s a tough course, but if you hit the ball really well I think you could make it easier.” - Brooke Henderson on the Taiheyo Club
– Minori Course

“Of course, I’m feeling very honored to have the same name as the panda. Hopefully, that panda can give me good luck.”
- Shanshan Feng on a panda recently born in Japan with the name Shanshan

“Sukiyaki!”
- Shanshan Feng on her favorite Japanese food to eat this week





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