Feng holds off Piller to win LPGA finale


On a day when many of the contenders slid down the leaderboard, Shanshan Feng shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 Sunday to win the $700,000 first-place prize at the CME Group Titleholders. Here’s the skinny on the final round at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla.:

The leaderboard: Shanshan Feng (-15), Gerina Piller (-14), Pornanong Phatlum (-13), Sandra Gal (-12), Inbee Park (-11)

What it means: It’s the second win in the last three starts for Feng, who also won last month’s Reignwood LPGA Classic. In her last five starts, the 2012 LPGA Championship winner has not finished worse than 11th. In winning the Titleholders she captured the most lucrative prize in women’s golf.

Round of the day: Beginning the day in a tie for fourth, Feng made four birdies in the first six holes to surge into the lead. She missed a few short putts that could have given her a comfortable cushion as she played the back nine, but her up-and-down from behind the 17th green proved the decisive stroke.

Best of the rest: Gerina Piller ran off three birdies in the last six holes, but she couldn’t convert a 10-footer on the last hole that would have forced a playoff. Nonetheless, she posted her career-best finish on the LPGA. Ilhee Lee shot the best round of the day, a 7-under 65, to jump from 30th to 11th

Biggest disappointment: In a share of the lead to begin the day, Natalie Gulbis shot a 10-over 82 to plummet all the way into a tie for 29th. Lexi Thompson had a chance to win again close to home, but she made four bogeys and a double en route to a closing 76 

Quote of the day: “I said that if I get to 15 (under), I’m happy, and it doesn’t matter if I win or not,” – Feng, who won at 15-under 273