Liao beats Zhang to win first OCT title
Liao Guiming won his first Omega China Tour title after beating the legendary Zhang Lianwei in a play-off for the RMB800,000 Sofitel Golf Championship in Nanjing. And the first person he celebrated with was his wife, who had flown in for the final day without even telling her husband.
“I didn’t even know she was coming. She didn’t tell me and then I saw her as I walked off the green. I was so happy,” said the 30-year-old, who won the RMB150,000 winner’s cheque after Zhang flailed to a double-bogey as the pair replayed the par-four 18th at the Nanjing Zhongshan International Golf Club.
Liao led the event from wire to wire, with rounds of 66, 69, 69 and 74 giving him a 10-under-par total of 278. Zhang closed with a 71, while 18-year-old James Su Dong, who lost the lead after a triple-bogey on 16, also shot 71 after missing a four-foot birdie putt on 18 that would have put him in the play-off with his playing partners.
Large galleries enjoyed an enthralling final round contested by representatives of China’s ‘three generations’ of golf, each of whom held the lead for a period on the back nine.
However, it was the second-generation Liao who was left lifting the big trophy, a hard-earned reward after 10 top-10 finishes in his first 20 events on the Omega China Tour, including joint runner-up in last week’s Shanghai Championship.