13-Year-Old Wins Annikas Invitational


REUNION, Fla. ' Simin Feng, a 13-year-old Orlando resident by way of China, had just three-putted the final hole of the American Junior Golf Association's inaugural ANNIKA Invitational.
She had been studiously avoiding asking anybody where she stood on the leaderboard after learning that her 8-foot birdie putt on the 14th hole had gained a share of the lead with Colombias Luz Cangrejo.
Cangrejo would later bogey the 17th and 18th holes to fall back into a tie with New Jerseys Sarah Brown for second place.
So Feng didnt know that her bogey on the last hole had secured the title for her in this prestigious 60-player field played on the Independence Course.
So who told her?
Annika, she said.
Yes, the tournaments Hall of Fame host was the first to inform Feng that she had captured first place. Sorenstam had been standing next to the 18th green much of the windy afternoon greeting the players as they exited the final green.
I thought maybe I had lost or was in a playoff after the three-putt, Feng said. It was a scene not completely unlike Anthony Kims singles thrashing of Sergio Garcia at last years Ryder Cup that ended with Kim having to be told he had won, 5 and 4.
This event was the first of a three-year agreement between Annikas foundation and the AJGA. And, said Mike McGee, Sorenstams husband and managing director of her company, it was an unqualified success.
Feng said she planned to celebrate her Monday victory by watching a televised broadcast of the Chinese New Year. But she said celebrations were the furthest thing from her mind when her tee ball bounced off a cart path on the par-5 14th.
From there she chopped a 6-iron into a bunker 30 yards from the green. Thats when she hit the shot of the tournament, a 54-degree wedge to 8-feet, from where she made the crucial birdie.
After that I was just trying to calm myself down, she said. The wind, meanwhile, was just starting to freshen which made Fengs driver and long iron to the fat of the green, into the fan, on the long par-4 18th even more impressive.
Winning Annikas tournament is pretty special and pretty nice for me, Feng said.
And having the victory confirmed by arguably the greatest female player in golf history made it even more special and nice.
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