Liao, who started the day three behind the co-leaders, tried valiantly to keep pace. However, Tsai eventually realised that Yuan Hao, in the penultimate flight, was getting closest to him after bagging five birdies in a front nine of 31.
“I had a really good start,” Tsai admitted. “By hole 14, I thought I was a couple of strokes ahead, but then I bogeyed 14 and found out Yuan Hao was right behind me, so I had to concentrate even harder.
“Over these four days, I really feel the standard has improved since I first played on the Omega China Tour last year,” added Tsai, who finished second in last year’s Shanghai Championship and tied-fourth in May’s Sofitel Golf Championship won by Liao.
Liao is an example of the Tour’s rising standards, having played every event on the Tour since it started in 2005. The 31-year-old finished joint runner-up in May’s Shanghai Championship and beat Zhang Lianwei in a play-off for the following week’s Sofitel event in Nanjing before the Tour took a three-month break for the Olympics.
“It was a great experience playing with Tsai. I did try to chase him, but his four birdies on the front nine were too much. The only thing I didn’t hit well today was my irons,” said Liao, who shot a career-best 65 in the third round.
“Still, I had a bogey-free closing round, which is not easy, and my final score is better than when I won in Nanjing, so I’m still pretty happy with myself.”