Shanshan Feng tries not to apply pressure on herself as she chases Order of Merit title

Shanshan Feng leads the LET Order of Merit.
Shanshan Feng leads the LET Order of Merit.

WORLD No 6 Shanshan Feng has her eyes on the Ladies European Tour’s Order of Merit title, which she currently leads by €79,296 ahead of Denmark’s Nicole Broch Larsen, heading into the Sanya Ladies Open, the penultimate counting tournament on the 2015 LET schedule.

Feng is making her first appearance in the event, being played for the sixth consecutive year at Yalong Bay Golf Club in Hainan, China, from Friday through to Sunday.

“It would be pretty exciting if I could win the Order of Merit this year on Ladies European Tour, which will be the first Order of Merit title in my golfing career,” said the 26-year-old from Guangzhou.

“However, I won’t give myself too much pressure on this. I will still try to play my best game in the following events and focus on every shot.”

Mainland China’s first major championship winner, Feng has played in four Ladies European Tour events so far in 2015 and won the Buick Championship in Shanghai in March.

She was third at the Evian Championship in France, 21st at the ISPS HANDA Women’s Australian Open and 24th at the Ricoh Women’s British Open.

In addition to playing in China this week she will also defend at the season-ending Omega Dubai Ladies Masters in December.

“It’s been a good season. I have one win on LET, several top threes on the LPGA, and for more than half of the events played so far I finished top 10," she said.

"You know for the past few years, I always played better in the second half season so I still have several events on my schedule, I will try to see if I can have the luck in the rest of this year."

Feng, who has four titles on the LET and four on the LPGA, has won three of those titles in China. In addition to this year’s Buick Championship, she won the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills Resort Haikou in 2012 and also triumphed at the 2013 Reignwood LPGA Classic.

“It’s always good to play events back home with Chinese fans supporting you and they are just like families and friends. You feel more welcomed and motivated. Meanwhile, to be honest there will be some pressure, but I will try to stay calm and give my best performance,” she said.

Tropical Hainan Island is known as the ‘Hawaii of China’ and Yalong Bay in Sanya, with its palm trees and golden beaches, is known as one of the most beautiful golfing destinations in the country, if not the world.

“Hainan is a very welcoming place and playing the event here is like taking a vacation. The scenery is breathtaking and the lifestyle is very relaxing. The only thing you need to do during competition is not get distracted,” Feng said.