Victory can sometimes be found even in the face of defeat if you look at life the right way and Lin Xiyu is happy despite finishing tied for third at last weekend's US$550,000 Hyundai China Ladies Open. "This is my best finish in this event," said Lin, who secured the China LPGA Tour Order of Merit title for 2014. "For the past month I played great, now I have won the money title. That's awesome." For the past month I played great, now I have won the money title. That's awesome Lin Xiyu The 18-year-old finished the event at Mission Hills Shenzhen with a wave to the crowd and a quick hug for her mother before setting off into planning for next year, confident she will continue her upward trajectory. Lin came to the China Ladies Open fresh from a month that had seen her claim two titles - including a first win on the Ladies European Tour at the Sanya Ladies Open. August had seen a string of decent efforts lift her winnings in her first year on the US LPGA Tour to US$127,391, enough to ensure she retained her card for 2015. "This year has been pretty tough for me," said Lin. "It's been the first year that I played on the [US] LPGA and so overall I played almost 30 weeks which is a lot. "The first half of the year I wasn't going so well, but I came good in August and the results over that month ended up being enough for me to keep my card. "Coming back happy and then winning the LET event has really helped my confidence. I really know I can play with these fields now and I feel like I belong. This has been an important step this year for me." What has also helped Lin - the second Chinese player to tackle the US LPGA - has been the presence of the first to do so, fellow Guangzhou native Feng Shanshan, world number five and winner of the 2012 LPGA Championship. A friendship the two women's families shared first led to Lin picking up a golf club at eight years of age - Feng's father started a junior programme after his daughter's talent began to shine - and Lin says Feng has been a guiding light ever since she first started hitting a ball. "My parents told me to just go try it and that I could quit whenever I wanted to," says Lin. "There was no pressure for me and I think that was important. "Feng has also really helped me a lot. She introduced all her friends to me and that made it easier starting out on Tour. She gave me lots of advice, not just on the golf course but sometimes even with things like which hotel or flight is better. It helps to have someone who knows the Tour. I can always have dinner with her and practise with her and learn from her." What strikes you most about Lin - both on and off the course - is her composure, an air of quiet resolve she will no doubt share with the two players who will join her and Feng on the Tour in the US next year. It was there last Saturday in Shenzhen when Lin missed five close birdie chances and just put her head down and continued. And it was there with a birdie on the 17th on Sunday that lifted her to third and erased the disappointment of a double bogey on 14 that effectively ended her chances of reeling in 19-year-old sensation Kim Hyo-joo. Next year it will be Lin's turn as mentor for 19-year-old compatriot Feng Shimin, who won her card at the US LPGA Tour's qualifying school, and 16-year-old Yan Jin, who earned conditional playing status at the same event. She says she'll let them know what to expect. "The first time I played on the [US] LPGA was in Australia [at the Australian Open] and I missed the cut by one shot after two triple bogeys in a row," says Lin. "If I'd had two pars, I would still have been there. It really taught me you have to cut down on the mistakes, there is no room for making mistakes when you are playing at the highest level and this is an important lesson to learn when you first come out. "I actually think my play has been good, my game has always been good. But it's more about the mental side of things, and that's what you have to learn when you first come on Tour." The emergence of more Chinese players on the international scene certainly bodes well for the future of the game as it continues to grow in the country and Lin believes the fact China will be sending players to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 will simply further the cause. "Golf in China is still very young," says Lin. "But the opportunities we are getting are helping us to move up fast. I really want to play at the Olympics and represent my country - we all do. "I know it is not going to be easy, I just have to focus, play good on the LPGA and if I do that my world ranking will get me there in the end."