Liao Guiming overhauled Zhang Lianwei at the top of the Omega Order of Merit after banking RMB90,000 for finishing runner-up in the RMB800,000 Luxehills Golf Championship in Chengdu, the Omega China Tour’s first event in Sichuan province.
Liao has now won RMB349,450 after six events, while Zhang, the 2006 Omega Order of Merit winner, is second with RMB330,000 after winning the season-opening Guangzhou Championship and twice finishing runner-up in his three appearances.
Li Chao, who won the Merit title in 2005 and 2007, is third with RMB200,750. Both Li and Zhang missed the Luxehills event to compete in the Omega European Masters in Switzerland, where Zhang finished tied-44th after a closing 69 and Li missed the cut by one in his debut appearance in Europe.
In Chengdu, the 31-year-old Liao finished three strokes behind playing partner Tsai Chi-huang of Chinese Taipei, who posted an 18-under total of 270, the lowest score on this year’s Omega China Tour. Both players carded closing rounds of 68 at the Luxehills International Country Club.
Liao, who’s based in Nanning in Guangxi province, is now bidding to win his first Omega Order of Merit title, having secured his maiden Tour victory in late May by beating Zhang in a play-off for the Sofitel Golf Championship in Nanjing.
“I’m really focusing on one tournament at a time and trying not to look too closely at the Omega Order of Merit title. If I do well in the tournaments, the results will speak for themselves,” said the Fujian-born battler with the cheeky smile.