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Golf: Wu Ashun enters history books with Volvo China Open victory

Alex Wu Ashun, 29, became the first Chinese player to win a European Tour event in China. Photo: Getty Images.

Alex Wu Ashun, 29, became the first Chinese player to win a European Tour event in China. Photo: Getty Images.

April 26, 2015: Alex Wu Ashun became the first Chinese player to win a European Tour event on home soil when he held off a spirited challenge from David Howell at the Volvo China Open in his native Shanghai.

 

Wu, 29, shot a closing 71 at Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club to finish on nine-under par, one shot ahead of Howell, who missed an eight-foot par putt on the last which would have forced a playoff at the 49th European Tour event held in China.

 

Wu primarily plies his trade on the Japan Golf Tour but now has full playing privileges on The Race to Dubai after becoming the third Chinese player to triumph on The European Tour, following Liang Wenchong (2007) and Zhang Lianwei (2003).

 

Liang and Zhang both won their titles at the Singapore Masters, and Wu will now also enter the history books after teenage compatriot Li Haotong came so close in the previous week’s Shenzhen International.

 

“It’s a wonderful day. Everyone knew the course was playing very tough today, but I played very well and I really enjoyed it,” said Wu.

 

“It’s been a wonderful week with wonderful weather and I’d like to thank everybody for coming out and supporting me.

 

“Winning my national Open is very special and I’m very excited about the rest of the season. I have many friends here with me this week and they helped me a lot and encouraged me to play well.”

 

Wu is the third Chinese player to win the Volvo China Open since the event began in 1995, following Cheng Jun (1997) and Zhang Lianwei (2003), the latter winning the final edition before it was sanctioned by The European Tour.

 

Wu’s best previous European Tour result was tied 11th in the 2013 Maybank Malaysian Open, while his previous best result in the Volvo China Open was tied 50th last year.

 

Howell was disappointed after looking in charge for much of the day. “It’s obviously tough to take. I was in very good shape to win the tournament for most of the day and didn’t get the job done. It’s going to hurt for a while, but I didn’t do a lot wrong.

 

“I holed a lovely putt on 17 to save par to give myself every chance coming down the last. It felt like I was already in a playoff because Ashun was in the clubhouse on nine-under, so if I birdie the last I win the tournament and if I make bogey I lose it. Unfortunately it was the latter.”

 

Defending champion Alex Levy finished in a tie for third place on seven under par alongside Thai ace Prom Meesawat and Argentine Emiliano Grillo, whose title challenge faltered with a double bogey at the par three 17th hole, where his tee-shot found the water.

 

Li started the day as joint-leader with Howell, but cut a frustrated figure on the back nine as costly missed putts led to a 74 and sixth place on six-under.

 

Volvo China Open, Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club, Shanghai, China

279 W Ashun (Chn) 73 66 69 71

280 D Howell (Eng) 68 72 68 72

281 E Grillo (Arg) 73 70 69 69, P Meesawat (Tha) 72 70 68 71, A Levy (Fra) 69 68 71 73

282 L Haotong (Chn) 71 68 69 74

283 R Ramsay (Sco) 72 68 70 73

284 B An (Kor) 72 68 76 68, P Uihlein (USA) 70 67 76 71, R Wattel (Fra) 72 67 74 71, M Carlsson (Swe) 73 72 65 74, T Hatton (Eng) 75 69 69 71, J Quesne (Fra) 69 67 76 72

285 S Benson (Eng) 75 69 66 75, B Dredge (Wal) 68 74 72 71, M Foster (Eng) 72 71 74 68, L Bjerregaard (Den) 75 70 70 70

286 R Paratore (Ita) 74 71 71 70, M Ilonen (Fin) 73 71 70 72, B Hebert (Fra) 70 76 67 73, M Manassero (Ita) 71 68 73 74, I Park (Kor) 70 74 71 71, J Morrison (Eng) 73 70 70 73, T Pieters (Bel) 70 71 70 75, R Green (Aus) 73 71 69 73

287 R Karlsson (Swe) 75 70 70 72, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 71 68 76 72, R Rock (Eng) 73 73 72 69, A Noren (Swe) 73 70 72 72, T Lee (Kor) 74 71 71 71

288 G Havret (Fra) 76 68 72 72, J Edfors (Swe) 74 72 69 73, S Kjeldsen (Den) 75 71 69 73, R Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 73 69 74 72, R Jacquelin (Fra) 74 68 72 74, C Wood (Eng) 73 70 75 70, G Bourdy (Fra) 74 72 70 72, R Fisher (Eng) 76 69 68 75, M Griffin (Aus) 75 68 72 73, S Kapur (Ind) 70 72 75 71, M Hendry (Nzl) 68 73 73 74

289 S Strange (Aus) 71 72 69 77, D Horsey (Eng) 72 73 71 73, R Gibson (Aus) 71 71 74 73, T Fisher Jnr (RSA) 75 71 71 72, C Lee (Sco) 70 75 72 72

290 M Korhonen (Fin) 71 72 75 72, R Carter (USA) 71 73 77 69, M Fraser (Aus) 69 76 73 72, T Pilkadaris (Aus) 72 73 70 75

291 Z Xin-Jun (Chn) 75 71 79 66, J Lee (Aus) 72 74 72 73, J Carlsson (Swe) 70 75 75 71, O Wilson (Eng) 70 76 72 73, M Nixon (Eng) 73 70 72 76

292 N Cullen (Aus) 72 73 70 77, F Aguilar (Chi) 80 65 70 77, D Drysdale (Sco) 75 69 76 72, M Kieffer (Ger) 73 72 73 74

294 S Hend (Aus) 71 73 76 74, A Johnston (Eng) 72 70 74 78, Y Tian (Chn) 75 69 77 73

295 E Espana (Fra) 74 72 77 72

296 Z Jin (Chn) 72 70 78 76

297 J Lando Casanova (Fra) 71 68 77 81

299 S Hansen (Den) 75 70 78 76,

301 S Jeffress (Aus) 72 74 77 78

 

Source: The European Tour (www.europeantour.com); Editing by SportAsia

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