Shanshan Feng rode some Olympic momentum into early contention Thursday at the Evian Championship.
Feng, making her first start since winning a bronze medal at the Olympic women’s golf competition in Rio de Janeiro last month, posted a 7-under-par 64 in the opening round of the year’s final major championship. She’s tied for third, just one shot off the lead.
Feng said she got a lot more attention in China for winning an Olympic bronze medal than she did becoming the first Chinese player to win a major championship at the LPGA Championship in 2012. She was swarmed by a large media contingent upon her arrival home in Guangzhou after the Olympics.
“It made me feel like a star,” she said.
Feng, who is called “Jenny Money” by fellow LPGA pros, was a bit surprised by her fast start at Evian. She said she hasn’t been able to practice as much as she would have liked to get ready for Evian.
“I was actually going to play both of the tournaments in Canada [after the Olympics], but after the week in Rio, I felt so tired I just decided to go home,” Feng said. “During those three weeks, I was sick for one week, I took one week off, took another week off, and so I only practiced, maybe starting last week.”