Aug 26, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Shanshan Feng plays her shot on the thirteenth tee box during the third round of the Canadian Pacific Women's Open golf tournament at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Shanshan Feng Working to Spread the Joy of Golf

Shanshan Feng is not only one of the finest golfers in the world, but also an enthusiastic ambassador for her sport.

Speaking Tuesday at the Volvik Championship in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she is the defending her title this week, Feng, who hails from Guangzhou, China, lauded the LPGA’s decision to stage a tournament in Shanghai, the Buick Championship, beginning next year.

“I’m just so proud that being the ambassador of Buick and so proud to bring other players to China again,” she said.

The former world number one is eager to get more Chinese youngsters involved in golf. To that end, she opened a golf academy in her homeland last fall. Feng herself attended the Gary Gilchrist Academy before joining the LPGA Tour in 2008.

“I really like the system (at the Gilchrist Academy),” she said. “So I wanted to bring it back to China so the kids don’t need to leave the country and they can actually get the same training. So, I opened my academy last September so it’s been almost a year. I think the kids are doing pretty well, so I’m very happy to see that.”

Feng advises the youngsters attending her academy that improvement in golf is not an instantaneous process. “I always tell them, you know, ‘Stay patient,’” she said. “I mean, golf is not a game that you can get there, you know, in a short time. The process is going to take a long time, so just be patient and make sure you’re on the right track and just keep believing in yourself and just keep going.”

The 28-year old Feng was the first player from her homeland to earn an LPGA Tour card. She’s won nine LPGA Tour events over the course of her career, including what was then the Wegmans LPGA Championship in 2010. Last year, she held the 54-hole lead at the U.S. Women’s Open before tying for fifth.

By year’s end, Feng was the top-ranked player in the world. She held that position for 23 consecutive weeks but downplayed the significance of her achievement.

“Number one means that the player is playing more consistently than the other players,” she said. “That’s especially (true) for me, I make a lot of top 10s but I didn’t win that many times. It was kind of hard to keep up with what people are expecting me to do. And I did feel a little pressure when I was number one because every week people remind you like ‘Oh, you’re number one. What’s your goal this week? Are you going to win this week?”

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