Chinese Taipei’s Tsai Chi-huang, 39, shot a six-under-par 66 and amateur Zhang Xinjun, 21, posted a 69 to share the lead going into Sunday’s final round of the RMB800,000 Luxehills Golf Championship. The ‘odd couple’ are on 14-under-par and will play together for the fourth successive day in the Omega China Tour’s first event in Chengdu.
Liao Guiming, winner of May’s Sofitel Golf Championship in Nanjing, will also play in the last group after recording a career-best 65 to leap to joint-third on 11-under with first-round leader Yuan Hao, who shot 70 at the Luxehills International Country Club.
Teenager Benny Ye Jianfeng, whose 71 left him fifth on eight-under, was warmly welcomed by the rest of the orange-shirted China National Team contingent, who then waited with the enthusiastic galleries to support Zhang in the final flight.
“Seeing everyone in the national team waiting for me on the 18th green was a big plus. It showed me I’m not just playing for myself but for my country,” said Zhang, the halfway leader after rounds of 67 and 66.
“I feel confident this week because I’ve been stable. I holed a 20-footer to birdie the par-four ninth, but aside from that I didn’t putt that well today, although I managed some good saves,” added the Chengdu-based 21-year-old, who won June’s RMB2.1 million China Pro-Am in Beijing.