Johnson Xing Xiaoxuan shot a four-under-par 68 to share the halfway lead with fellow Tianjin native Zhou Jun at the RMB1 million Omega Championship, the Omega China Tour’s season-ending event at the Beijing Longxi Hotspring Golf Club.
Xing, affectionately known as ‘Triple X’, posted the clubhouse lead at three-under and was joined by 24-year-old Zhou, the first-round co-leader, who recorded a 72.
Wu Kangchun, winner of last year’s Sofitel Golf Championship in Nanjing, shot 70 to go two-under, one ahead of Chinese Taipei’s Chan Yih-shin, who came home in 71.
Liao Guiming, the current Omega Order of Merit leader, is fifth after a second 72 and two ahead of Li Chao, who shot a 74 to share sixth place with the likes of Chen Jian, who aced the par-three 16th. Li will need to shoot low on Saturday for any chance of the victory needed to overtake Liao in the Omega Order of Merit.
Xing, 27, topped a leaderboard for the first time after he eagled the par-five 13th and bagged five birdies, recalling the form of his impressive 2005 season when he finished third in Beijing.
“Four-under is an encouraging score. I was really focused today and I hope I can continue this form at the weekend,” said Xing, who finished 25th at last month’s Tianjin Championship at his home club in Yangliuqing after tieing for 13th at the Luxehills Golf Championship in Chengdu.
“I drove well, made no mistakes off the tee, and hit my irons well, although my putting wasn’t great. I’m playing better this week after a rest following the Tianjin event when I was tired after a lot of continuous golf.”