Li Chao maintained his one stroke lead over Zhang Lianwei in the US$100,000 Omega Championship today in wintry weather at Tianan Golf Club in Beijing.

  Both players carded second round five-over-par 77s after battling through cold and windy conditions in the season-ending event on the Omega China Tour.

  Li is chasing his fourth victory of the year and has already secured the Omega Order of Merit title for the second time.

  “It was very cold out there. I had no feeling on the back nine and on one hole the wind even blew my ball off the green,” said Li, referring to the par-three 13th hole where he took a double bogey.

  Li, who made three birdies, one double bogey and six bogeys, leads the tournament on two-over-par 146.

  This year the 27 year old has won the Yanji Golf Championship plus the Xiamen and Shanghai Legs.

  “I had a bit of a slow start this year but fortunately improved as the season progressed and I am now playing very well. My score today wasn’t great but the weather was against us,” added Li, who first claimed the Merit list in 2005.

  The leader board is a carbon copy of the Merit list with veteran Zhang, a two-time winner this season, in second place.

  “I am well placed going into the last two rounds. I am quite satisfied as it was a hard day. It was very cold one minute so I had my jacket on but then the sun would come out and I’d get too warm. That happened a couple of times which was very unsettling,” said Zhang.

  The Chinese star made just one birdie, and registered a double bogey and four bogeys.

  Two strokes behind the leader are Liu Anda who came in with a 76 and amateur Su Dong, who shot a 74.

  Liu Guojie returned the best round of the day a 70 to move to within three strokes of Li.

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