Feng wins TOTO Japan Classic

Shanshan Feng of China captured her second straight LPGA TOTO Japan Classic by two strokes after a final round four-under-par 68 to finish with a 17 under 197 total on Sunday.

She finished two shots ahead of Japan’s Ai Suzuki who fired a final round four under 68 and in third was Swede Anna Nordqvist at 15 under after firing a final round 66.

After the final round, Feng was elated by defending her title in Japan and said it had been her goal to try and defend the title.

“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's final round started off a bit shaky when she bogeying two of her first three holes. But then settled and was 4-under par through her final 11 holes. It turned into a match-play situation with Japan’s Suzuki, who as 5-under through her final 10 holes, before making a bogey on the final hole. 

Feng also won the 2016 TOTO Japan Classic, for her sixth LPGA Tour win. The 2017 TOTO Japan Classic victory marks her second win of the season, as she won the LPGA Volvik Championship by one shot in May.

Suzuki had a chance to leapfrog Feng through the back nine, but any time Suzuki made a birdie, it seemed as though Feng would answer with one of her own. She couldn’t capitalize on opportunities late in the round, and the final-hole bogey sealed the win for Feng.

After a hole-in-one on the par-3 3rd, Anna Nordqvist fired a six under 66 to move into solo third. To go along with her two victories in 2017, this marked her sixth top-10 finish of the season.

Lizette Salas finished at 13 under after firing a four under 68. Her fourth-place finish was her fourth top-5 result in her last five weeks. 

Seven golfers finished at 12 under and tied for fifth, including Moriya Jutanugarn, who notched her fifth top-5 of the year, and Lydia Ko, who recorded her fourth top-5 in her last seven events.

World No.1 So Yeon Ryu said she would be taking next week off in order to rehab her still-injured shoulder as she makes a push for Player of the Year honours.