LI’S SHANGHAI SIX SHOOTER ON OMEGA CHINA TOUR
http://sports.sina.com.cn 2007年08月22日10:57 新浪体育
新浪体育讯 China’s Li Chao signalled that he is ready to scale new heights in the game after he became the first player to win six titles on the Omega China Tour today.
He beat Taiwan’s Tsai Chi-huang by one shot after a fierce head-to-head battle in the Shanghai Leg of the Tour at Grand Shanghai International Golf and Holiday Resort.
In a brilliant finish to the US$100,000 event, Li had a one shot lead playing the par-five 18th and after watching playing partner Tsai hole a birdie putt from 20 feet he then drained his putt for a four from 15 feet and wildly punched the air in celebration.
Li, who had started the day with a one stroke lead over Tsai, closed with a four-under-par 68 to finish the tournament on six-under-par 282.
Taiwan’s Wang Ter-chang, who along with Tsai are the first players from their country to be invited to play on the Tour, finished outright third. He finished four shots behind Tsai after also shooting a 68.
“I am very happy to win particularly because I was playing against two very strong and experienced players from Taiwan,” said Li, who won US$19,470.
It was Li’s second successive victory as he claimed the Yanji Golf Championship three weeks ago and the result allowed him to make up ground on Omega Order of Merit leader Zhang Lianwei.
Zhang, also a double winner this year who finished in joint fourth place, leads the Merit list on RMB 409,750 (US$54,155) by RMB23,750 (US$3,138) from second placed Li.
“Obviously I want go a long way in the game and this latest victory has given me a lot more confidence. I am starting to think about trying to play in Japan and also realize that if I am to improve quicker I need a coach, which is something that Chinese players do not have,” added Li.
Li bogeyed both the 13th and 14th holes to fall one behind playing partner Tsai but then birdied the next two holes to regain the lead before the excitement on the final hole.
The 27 year old from Beijing boasts a superb record on Tour. He won the very first event played on the circuit in 2005 and won again later that year to claim the Merit list title. Last year he finished second on the Merit list, behind Zhang, after also winning twice.
Said Tsai: “I think myself and Wang have been very impressed with Li this week. We have both played with him a couple of times before and he is definitely a much better player now and more stronger mentally.”
Despite missing out on victory it was an excellent result for Shanghai-based Tsai who has gradually been returning to top flight tournament golf after he picked up a back injury in 2003.
The next event on Tour is the Kunming Leg at Lakeview Golf Club from August 23 to 28.