‘Grandma’ Alfredsson wins in China

Experience won the day as Sweden’s veteran player Helen Alfredsson won the fist ever LPGA Tour tournament to be held in China on Sunday.

The 43-year-old Afredsson shot a final round of seven-under-par 65 to register a come-from-behind victory over Taiwan’s Tseng Yani at the Hainan West Coast Golf Clubon the island of Hainan.

She totalled 12-under-par 204 in the 54-hole event to take home the winner’s cheque of US$270,000. Tseng carded a final round of 68 to finish on nine-under 207.

Laura Diaz, who led after the first round, fired 72 to finish in third place on 206 while 36-hole leader Karen Stupples, of England, was fourth on 209 after her 75.

Chinese fans could celebrate a relatively strong finish for their leading player, Feng Shanshan, the first exempt player from China to play on the LPGA Tour.

She finished sixth, closing with a 68 for a total of 211. It was her fifth top-10 finish in her inaugural year on the tour.

Sweden’s world number two Annika Sorenstam, who is retiring from competitive golf at the end of the year, finished in joint 17th place. Top Americans Christie Kerr and Morgan Pressel were tied 34th and 52nd respectively.

Afredsson, nicknamed “Grandma” by Tseng last week in Hawaii, is experiencing a comeback of sorts, rising to eighth in the world before the China tournament. In a press release from tournament organisers, she was quoted as saying:

“I think when you play golf, you don’t always think about age. But the diversity on our Tour, on the LPGA, it’s so great. You have people from everywhere. Shanshan is a wonderful girl from China that you should be very proud of. It keeps everybody young and it keeps everybody competitive. They don’t want to get beat by us, because we are so old, and we still want to beat them, because they are so young.”

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