World No.1 Chinese golfer Feng raring to up her game
China's first ever world No. 1 golfer aims to weed out early-season blues
South Korea's Park Sung Hyun's reign as world No. 1 last November didn't last long - Feng Shanshan made sure of that.
The Chinese golfer entered the Blue Bay LPGA event on Hainan Island in November as the third-ranked women's golfer, won the competition, and knocked Park off the perch to become her country's first ever top-ranked golfer.
Just like that, Park's stay at the summit ended after just one week.
Now, Feng is in a hurry again. This time, to crank her game up another level.
The 28-year-old has already targeted an area to improve - her sluggish start to a season.
She snagged three LPGA Tour victories - the Volvik Championship in May, and Toto Japan Classic and Blue Bay LPGA in November - last year but she feels her game picked up only towards the end of the year.
Speaking to Singapore media in a conference call yesterday morning, the ever bubbly Feng admitted that she usually takes a while to settle into her rhythm after an off-season break.
It is also her poor starts, she added, that led to claims that she tends to fare well only in Asia.
She explained: "I don't think it's really about (me playing in) Asia, because over the years, my condition usually gets better and better as the season goes on.
"So, I only get into my best shape towards the end of the year, and because the season usually ends in Asia, I guess that's why I play better in Asia."
She added: "I knew what my problem was, so I thought maybe I need to get into my zone quicker and earlier in the year so that I will have more chances to win in the US.
"And I actually improved a lot because my first tournament (last year) was my first win on the LPGA, which was in May and it was in the US."
Feng, who has nine LPGA Tour victories under her belt, won her first Major at the 2012 Women's PGA Championship in New York, but it remains her only Major to date.
One Major, however, is not enough for her.
Said Feng: "To win another Major is one of my goals, of course...
"If I keep doing the right things, I'm going to stand a chance because last year, I got really close at the US Open (she finished joint-fifth).
"I know that all the Major courses are going to fit me because they're normally tight and rather difficult. I'm a pretty good ball striker, so Majors are normally good for me."
Feng was the fifth woman to hold the No. 1 ranking last year, after Lydia Ko, Ariya Jutanugarn, Ryu So Yeon and Park.
She joked that she was the only one to do it just at the right time.
She said: "A lot of my friends have been world No. 1 before so I wanted to become world No. 1 too, because I wanted to keep up with my friends. And I finally made it."
"It was the perfect timing because there was only one week to go (until the end of the season) and then it was the off-season.
"So I got to stay there without doing anything. I was really happy about that."
However, she is not too focused on maintaining her No. 1 spot.
Feng will be playing at the HSBC Women's World Championship from March 1-4 at the Sentosa Golf Club, alongside the other four former top-ranked players.
She hopes that her joint-third finish at last month's Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic will boost her game for the upcoming US$1.5 million (S$2m) tournament in Singapore.
But, Feng stressed that she is not facing additional pressure because of her ranking.
She said: "There are many good golfers out there and everybody has a chance of becoming world No. 1.
"A 15-under is my goal for the week (in Singapore), so if I can achieve that, it doesn't matter what position I end up with.
"I'm not going to go out and try to shoot 25-under (just because I'm No. 1), that's just not me."