Sat, May 04, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Wu enjoys home comforts to lead Volvo China Open

AFP, SHENZHEN, China

Wu Ashun yesterday credited home comforts and “great food” for his scintillating form as he stormed to a second-round seven-under-par 65 to lead by two strokes at the Volvo China Open in Shenzhen.

Wu carded a season-best 66 in Thursday’s opening round and yesterday went one better with the low round of the day on his way to a 13-under-par total.

He rammed home eight birdies and dropped just one shot to the delight of a large gallery of fans following his every move around Genzon Golf Club.

Wu had registered just one top-40 finish in his eight previous European Tour starts this year.

“I enjoy playing at home,” said a smiling Wu, who is the most successful Chinese golfer in European Tour history with three wins. “It’s a great week every time: I have great Chinese food and a lot of family and friends with me. It’s a very good feeling. Always happy.”

For the second day in a row, Wu carded his only bogey at the par-four fifth hole.

“I hit a bad tee shot on five and I got a headache again,” he said as he chases a second Volvo China Open title to add to his 2015 triumph.

Finnish overnight coleader Tapio Pulkkanen took at run at Wu’s lead late in the day, but dropped a shot in near darkness on his final hole, the ninth, to stand second on 11-under-par 68 to add to his opening 65.

Jorge Campillo, who is in red-hot form after a first tour win in Morocco on Sunday, had started the day tied with Pulkkanen and David Lipsky on seven-under, but slipped back to third, three behind Wu, after a 69.

“It was a tough morning, in the first few holes it was wet and the ball wasn’t going very far so I hung in there,” said the frustrated Spaniard, who carded four birdies, as well as a bogey at the 13th.

“It was a good round, solid after yesterday’s 65. It’s tough to come back and shoot that same score. I did try and I just missed one more birdie on the ninth, which hurt me a little bit,” he added.

This year’s event has 45 Chinese players in the field, and one of the youngest made it into the weekend as one of a record 11 home players making the cut — and grabbed a little slice of history.

Amateur Kuang Yang, 14, carded a second one-under-par 71 to squeeze into the weekend and become the second-youngest player to make the cut at a European Tour event at 14 years and six months.

“I’m too happy I have no words to describe it,” said Kuang, who is less than a month older than compatriot Guan Tianlang when he made the cut at the US Masters in 2013.

Chinese No. 1 Li Haotong had a roller-coaster day. At one stage he dropped an astonishing six shots in two holes as a double-bogey six on 14 was followed by an ugly quadruple-bogey eight at the 15th.

Having started his round on 10th, the world No. 39 then reeled off five birdies in a row from the 16th to repair most of the damage on his way to a 73 and a four-over-par total.

Taiwan’s Lee Chien-po (146), Chan Shih-chang (148) and Lien Lu-sen (157) missed the two-under 142 cut.

Additional reporting by staff writer

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top