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SBD Global/June 12, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Chinese Golfer's Win Expected To Speed Up Growing Golf Trend In China

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).
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