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Golfer Feng Shanshan's LPGA Championship win made her the first player from China "to win a major event," according to the BBC. The 22-year-old took the title in Pittsford, N.Y. after "carding a final round" of 5-under-par 67. There has been a rise in the number of young golfers in China in recent years, which is "soaring along with the economy." China "expects a boom" in the numbers taking up the game from a few million now to 20 million players by '20 (BBC, 6/10). The AAP wrote as "meaningful as the shock victory was for Feng, it could resonate far more in China," which opened its first golf course in '84, just five years before Feng was born. Feng said, "Golf wasn't that popular in China. I was lucky to have a chance to start" (AAP, 6/11).
A WIN FOR BILLIONS: Monday morning’s edition of Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” was co-hosted by PGAer Steve Flesch and Golf Channel’s Charlie Rymer, and they discussed Feng becoming the first Chinese-born player to win a major at this weekend’s Wegmans LPGA Championship. Flesch said Feng’s victory was “huge because of what it does for the China market in golf, billions of people living over there. She's 22, going to get a lot of kids involved over there.” Flesch: “It’s going to be an impetus for more people in China to play golf. Gosh knows they have enough people over there.” Rymer: “Globally, I think it’s a ten, on the eve of golf in the Olympics. Not only it does a lot for golf in China, but golf in a broader sense in Asia.” Rymer said it “won’t be long before the LPGA is visiting China, no doubt that that’s coming at some point in the future.” Golf World Exec Editor Ron Sirak: “Shanshan’s victory along with the fact golf’s returning to the Olympics in 2016 is going to be a big stimulus for the game in China” (“Morning Drive,” Golf Channel, 6/11).
One of Manchester's top fee-paying schools is "roping in famous former pupils" to help raise £10M ($15.5M) to fund places for children from poorer backgrounds, according to Steve Robson of the MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. The Manchester Grammar School will ask "old boys" including actor Ben Kingsley, National Theatre Dir Nicholas Hytner and cricket star Mike Atherton to "dip into their pockets" to help boost the MGS bursary fund. For its 500th anniversary in '15, the £10,000 ($15,514) a-year school wants to reach the £10M ($15.5M) target. The launch event next week will have in attendance some of "Manchester's biggest names" including ManU CEO David Gill and Council CEO Howard Bernstein (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 6/9).
FERNANDO MOLINOS will be the new Exec President of La Liga club Real Zaragoza. Team owner AGAPITO IGLESIAS reached a deal with the former Espanyol FC executive and "he's officially announced the transfer of power." Molinos played for Real Zaragoza until '74 making 84 appearances (MARCA, 6/10).
EXECS: In this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, Terry Lefton reports former NHL Senior VP/Int'l KEN YAFFE is "hanging out his own shingle after 19 years with the league." Yaffe described the new Yaffe Sports Ventures as an "agency with capabilities in global marketing, and event marketing, aiming at European companies looking at the North American sports market or vice versa." ...The BBC appointed former Diageo marketer PHILIP ALMOND as Marketing and Audiences Dir, replacing HELEN NORMOYLE who left the company to join DFS. Almond will begin in July as the most senior marketer, responsible for all the BBC's on-screen, on-air and external marketing (BRAND REPUBLIC, 6/11). ... BILLY DOCTROVE has announced his retirement from the Emirate Elite Panel (ICC).
MANAGERS: In Florence, Serie A club Fiorentina have announced VINCENZO MONTELLA as their new manager. He replaces DELIO ROSSI who was fired at the end of the season after punching one of his own players Adem Ljajic during Fiorentina's draw with relegation rivals Novara (REUTERS, 6/11). ... In Australia, League Two club Barnet have appointed MARK ROBSON as new manager (EUROSPORT, 6/11). ... English football club West Brom Albion has named former Chelsea and West Ham FC assistant manager STEVE CLARKE as Manager. Clarke will replace ROY HODGSON who left to coach the England national team (BLOOMBERG, 6/8). ... North Melbourne Football Club CEO EUGENE AROCCA has resigned (AUSTRALIAN, 6/6).
Former England soccer captain RIO FERDINAND, "who was controversially left out of the national squad" formed for the Euro 2012, will be one of the judges on a new ITV1 show. The ManU defender will be on the panel for sports entertainment programme Let's Get Gold (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 6/11). ... In Shanghai Tang Zhe reported Shanghai-born "sports stars" -- including Olympic champion LIU XIANG, retired NBAer YAO MING and former national women's soccer team captain SUN WEN -- appeared at the opening ceremony of the Shanghai Citizens Sports Meeting. The event was held at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center (CHINA DAILY, 6/11). ... CBS' JIM NANTZ on Saturday married COURTNEY RICHARDS on the "seventh hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links." Among the attendees were NFL New England Patriot's owner ROBERT KRAFT, golfer PHIL MICKELSON, Patriots QB TOM BRADY, CBS Sports Chair SEAN MCMANUS and Nantz' NFL broadcast partner PHIL SIMMS (NESN.com, 6/10).