Feng attributes success to father's new role


There’s a common struggle among LPGA pros, the struggle over when to cut ties with parents in the management of their games.

China’s Shanshan Feng gave her father a choice two years ago.

Basically, it led to Feng’s declaration of independence as a player.

Feng, 22, who won the Wegmans LPGA Championship last month to become the first Chinese player to claim a major championship, told her story Wednesday in her Evian Masters' news conference.

In her own words, this is how she changed her father’s role:

“During the off season, my dad was on the range with me and he was like, `Oh, I think the swing here is wrong, there it is wrong, something is wrong.’ I told him, `Dad, you don't know what my coach is coaching me. I'll give you two options. One is that you can go to my coach's academy, and you can learn what he's teaching me and then you can teach me. Or, second, if you don't want to go, you can just be a dad, a happy dad.’”

“He said, ‘OK, I choose the second.’ I think my dad is really happy right now. I think he's really happy just as a dad and not anybody else.”

After the U.S. Women’s Open, Feng used the two-week break before the Evian Masters to make her first trip back to China since winning a major. She visited her parents and family during a two-week whirlwind of celebratory appearances.

“It started like when I arrived at the airport in Beijing,” Feng said. “Every time, when I went home before, only my parents would come and pick me up. This time, when I arrived, I saw so many media from China and Korea, too. They were waiting and there was a big poster, my picture, and they were taking pictures and I had interviews. I felt like a star.”