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Rediff.com  » Sports » Golf Roundup: Wu secures landmark China Open victory

Golf Roundup: Wu secures landmark China Open victory

April 26, 2015 16:19 IST

Wu Ashun of China

Wu Ashun of China holds the trophy after winning the Volvo China Open. Photograph: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Wu Ashun became the first Chinese golfer to win a European Tour title on home soil by claiming his national open by one shot on Sunday after Englishman David Howell faltered on the last.

Howell needed a birdie on the par-five 18th for victory but sent his lengthy first putt from off the green seven feet past the hole and his par attempt missed tamely on the low side to hand Wu the China Open title in front of a delighted gallery.

Wu, 29, twice a winner on the Japan Golf Tour, joined Liang Wenchong and Zhang Lian-wei as Chinese winners of European Tour events after the duo claimed previous editions of the Singapore Masters.

"Its a wonderful day today. Everyone knows how tough it was," Wu said after finishing the tournament on nine-under par.

"I played very good today. Its very special for a Chinese winner of the China Open. Very exciting."

The duo had started the day in a four-way tie for the lead with China's Li Hao-tong and Alexander Levy but Wu's round of one-under-par 71 on the tricky Shanghai Pudong course was enough for victory in the 20 million yuan ($3.23 million) event.

Howell, playing in the final group, had led for much of the final round but a bogey-five on 14 dropped him in a tie with Wu before his disappointing final hole, where a wayward second from the fairway made his approach to the green much tougher.

Defending champion Levy (71) began his round with a bogey and a double-bogey five at the eighth left him with too much to claw back and he settled for a share of third on seven under.

Talented teenager Li finished in a share of sixth after struggling on the final day at his home event, one of four tournaments the country will host on the European Tour this year.

Argentine Emiliano Grillo looked set to post the clubhouse target after racking six birdies in his round to take him to nine-under but a costly double-bogey five at the penultimate hole left him in a share of third after a 69.

Westwood makes it an Indonesian hat-trick

Lee Westwood

Lee Westwood of England reacts. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Briton Lee Westwood made it an Indonesian Masters hat-trick by winning the Asian Tour title on Sunday but only after surviving a playoff with Thai Chapchai Nirat after blowing a five-shot lead.

The former world number one, winner of the event on his two previous appearances in 2011 and 2012, could only muster a final round of one-over-par 73 and seven-under total of 281 after letting slip the healthy overnight advantage.

He had the opportunity to register victory on the par-five 18th only to fail with a birdie effort, meaning a playoff with Chapchai, who produced a sparkling 66 after snapping an iron against a tree early in Saturday's third round.

The Englishman made no mistake on the 18th in the playoff, however, notching a birdie on the first extra hole to edge out the four-times Asian Tour winner Chapchai.

"I was lucky that I already had a read on (my putt on) 18 for the playoff," Westwood said.

"It was a tough day out there... but managed to battle back.

"Its nice to have won here three times, its a good hat-trick."

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