No stopping Shanshan Feng after Charley Hull’s lapse brings ‘a big switch’

The world No 5 shot a six-under-par 66 in the penultimate round of the €500,000 (Dh2.29m) season-ending championship of the Ladies European Tour and led by five shots.
China’s Shanshan Feng tees off from the eighth hole during the third round at the Emirates Golf Club. Warren Little / Getty Images
China’s Shanshan Feng tees off from the eighth hole during the third round at the Emirates Golf Club. Warren Little / Getty Images

DUBAI // China’s Shanshan Feng continued to motor towards her second Omega Dubai Ladies Masters title in three years when the world No 5 shot a six-under-par 66 in the penultimate round of the €500,000 (Dh2.29m) season-ending championship of the Ladies European Tour (LET) and led by five shots going into the final day.

At the close of play, event organisers and LET announced a commitment to stage the tournament through 2017.

“We are very happy to continue our association with LET because we believe in women’s golf,” said Mohamed Juma Buamain, chief executive of Golf in Dubai.

Feng, the highest-ranked player in the field, moved to 17-under par for the tournament, five clear of second-placed Melissa Reid of England.

Reid showed welcome signs of a return to form after a bogey-free round of seven-under-par 65, the best card of the day at the Majlis course of Emirates Golf Club yesterday.

England’s 18-year-old Charley Hull, the Order of Merit leader, remained in contention to win the season championship when she came back from a bogey-triple bogey stretch in the middle of her round to make three birdies in her next six holes for a round of three-under 69.

Hull was tied for third place at 10-under par with world No 12 Anna Nordqvist (68) and 2012 European champion Carlota Ciganda (66) of Spain.

Hull is seven shots behind Feng, but she is three shots ahead of France’s Gwladys Nocera, the only player this week who can stop her from winning the Order of Merit crown.

Nocera struggled throughout the day for a 71 and is tied ninth at 209. She needs to finish at least inside the top four to win the Order of Merit for a second time.

Rookie Nicole Broch Larsen (66) of Denmark and Noora Tamminen (69) of Finland were tied for the sixth at 207.

Feng, who started with a birdie and made an eagle on the third hole when she struck her second shot to a foot from the pin, made her only bogey of the day when she hit her tee shot into the water on the fourth hole.

“I think I did pretty well,” Feng said. “I started very well, but I think Charley definitely gave me a lot of pressure for the first 10 holes.

“And then, it was kind of like a very big switch in the next two holes, because I made two-under and she was actually four-over for those two holes. There was a little more pressure off after that and I played well in the back, too.”

Hull was satisfied with her round, despite the triple bogey. “I fought back after making a triple and a bogey with three birdies after that, so I’m really proud of myself for doing that.”

Cheyenne Woods shot par 72 and joined defending champion Pornanong Phatlum in a group of six golfers 12 shots back of Feng.

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Published: December 13, 2014 04:00 AM

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