Xu Qin, the 27-year-old Ian Poulter ‘dress-alike’, and in-form Zhou Jun both shot three-under-par 69 to share the first-round lead in the RMB1 million Omega Championship, the Omega China Tour’s season-ending event at the Beijing Longxi Hotspring Golf Club.
Hong Kong-based Nick Redfern and Andy Zhou Xunshu, who both had their wives caddying for them, each carded 70 to lie joint-third with Wu Ligui.
Chinese Taipei star Hsu Mong-nan, Hong Kong’s Wong Woon-man and Chen Xiaoma, last year’s Most Improved Player, shot 71 to share sixth place.
Tour heavyweights Liao Guiming, the current Omega Order of Merit leader, Li Chao, the two-time money-list winner, and Chinese Taipei’s Chan Yih-shin were among a large group on 72.
Xu, who proudly admits that he models his clothes and hairstyle on Poulter, enjoyed a bogey-free round, picking up three birdies on the second nine to top the leaderboard on the Omega China Tour for the first time.
“If I dress well, I feel good. Recently I’ve been paying even more attention to Ian Poulter. I always check what he’s wearing, from his trousers to his shirts. My hair is also high like his,” said the slimline Xu, who was disqualified from the season-opener in Guangzhou after accidentally missing his tee-time.
“Today, I drove well and my irons were good, especially on the second nine. If you can cope with these greens, which are so large and sloping, you can score well. I’d love to win this week because I’ve never won on the Omega China Tour.”