The last three rounds at Kasumigaseki Country Club were exactly what Shanshan Feng had in mind. Ratings of 64-68-67 made the native Chinese proud of her performance at her second Olympic start, a tournament she was really focused on, even more so than her play on the LPGA tour lately after she got into 2016 Bronze had won Rio games.
If only she could say the same thing on Round 1. A threesome over 74 the day before she celebrated her 32nd birthday derailed Feng’s medal hopes early on in Japan. Her 11-under total was six behind eventual winner Nelly Korda and five from the silver and bronze medal positions.
“I didn’t have a good start, but I felt like I’ve played like a champion for the past three days, even though I was really behind after the first lap,” said Feng. “I think I really came back and there is no regret.”
But what now for Feng and her professional career? In June, the 10-time LPGA Tour winner at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship said she could potentially be done playing on tour, with 2021 being her swan song. “I’m here for the Olympics,” Feng told Golfchannel.com. “My plan is up to the Olympics. I don’t know what to do after that. Maybe I’ll come back, maybe not. We will see.”
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Feng didn’t tour at all in 2020 and instead chose to stay home instead of coming to the US and dealing with quarantines and COVID-19 testing. She ended an 18-month hiatus with ANA Inspiration in April, where she finished T-3 on the first of eight tour starts in 2021. She reached the semifinals of the Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play in May and finished T-4 at the US Women’s Open in June before missing the cut at KPMG.
On Saturday, Feng was a little less sure that this was really the end, but she wasn’t sure when she would play again.
“I wouldn’t say I’m retired,” Feng said with a smile, noting that she was ready to play a few more LPGA events to see her career take off a little more.
“I just don’t feel like quarantine [three times] in this second half of the year. I did one before I came [to the Olympics], I’ll have another one when I go back [to China] and when I come to CME [Tour Championship], I’m coming back and have to do another quarantine. I think that could be a bit too much. “
Feng could wait for the LPGA to return to her in late 2021. Three Asian events – the Buick LPGA Shanghai in China, the BMW Ladies Championship in South Korea and the Toto Japan Classic – are planned for October and November. (A fourth in Chinese Taipei was canceled.) She also noted that there is an opportunity to play when the tour returns to Asia in early 2022 as well.
“I’ll wait and see what the schedule in Asia might be next year. Hopefully I’ll come back and the best if I can play in China, yes.”
If so, Feng’s presence on the LPGA tour will be missing. Since her rookie year in 2008, she has been popular with fellow players, fans and officials because of her humor and wit. She was also a formidable competitor, taking the 2013 LPGA Championship to nine top five and 18 top 10 placements in majors during her career.