ZHANG EMBELLISHES REMARKABLE RESUME IN QINGD
China’s Zhang Lianwei enriched his trophy cabinet with more silverware today when claimed the Qingdao Leg on the Omega China Tour - which also marked the first wire-to-wire victory of his illustrious career.
He celebrated his 42nd birthday on Friday and gave himself the perfect present when he triumphed by two strokes from Li Chao, Wu Weihuang and Chen Xiaoma.
Swirling winds and thick rough at Qingdao Huashan Golf Club once again produced a day of high scores, in what was the second tournament of the year on the eight-event Tour.
Zhang carded a six-over-par 78 to finish with a four-round aggregate of six-over-par 294.
He finished second in the season-opening event, the Sofitel Golf Championship in Nanjing, two weeks ago but was never really threatened this week and led by three at the halfway mark and four at the start of the final day.
“My wife gave me a mission at the start of the week to win from start to finish so I am relieved I did that. She didn’t say a word when she followed me around today so I felt a bit of pressure,” joked Zhang, who won US$19,470 in the US$100,000 event.
The only player to get near to him was Chen who birdied the 16th to close within two but his challenge faded when he bogeyed the last.
“It was a bit like the stock market out there today on the leader board with scores going up and down so quickly. I didn’t play well today but I could see that everyone else was struggling saw I knew that I could make it,” said Zhang.
The victory was Zhang’s third on the Tour. He won twice last year en-route to claiming the Omega Order of Merit title and his success today returned him to the top of the Merit list standings.
“It has certainly given me some confidence this win although there is now more pressure to go on and win more events this year on the Omega China Tour and Asian Tour,” said Zhang, who has five victories on the Asian Tour with the last one coming in the Volvo China Open in 2003.
Li, winner of the Merit list title in 2005 and second last year, closed with a 76, while Wu shot a 75 and Chen returned a 72.
Wu Kangchun, winner of the opening event, carded a 72 to finish four adrift of Zhang along with Cui Xiaolong.
The next event on Tour is the Guangzhou Leg at Dragon Lake Golf Club, from June 21 to 24, where the venue hope to use the tournament as part of their build-up plans to host the golf competition in the 2010 Asian Games.