Wu Ashun became the first Chinese player to win a European Tour event on home soild as he captured the Volvo China Open by a single stroke from England’s David Howell.
Wu Ashun became the first Chinese player to win a European Tour event on home soil as he captured the Volvo China Open by a single stroke from England’s David Howell.
Wu and Howell began the final day in a tie for the lead with defending champion Alexander Levy of France and another Chinese star, Li Hao-tong.
Howell was quickest out of the blocks with a birdie on the 2nd. But the Englishman stumbled and Wu went ahead when he holed for birdie from 15 feet on the fifth.
The pair traded the lead around the turn and the contest was extremely tight as the players came down the stretch. Wu was first to finish and he posted a clubhouse total of 9-under-par.
Howell holed a great putt to save par on the 17th and remain 9-under himself. He needed a par at the last to force a playoff, but after missing both the fairway and green, he then failed to get up-and-down. The resulting bogey meant he lost out by a shot.
“It’s obviously tough to take,” he said. “I was in very good shape to win the tournament for most of the day, and didn’t get the job done. So it’s going to hurt for a while, but I didn’t do a lot wrong.”
29-year-old Wu, who plays most of his golf on the Japan Golf Tour, took the title plus a cheque for almost €500,000.
“It’s very special winning the China Open and it’s very exciting,” he said. “I have many friends here, and they helped me a lot and pushed me to play well.”
54-hole co-leaders Alex Levy and Li Hao-tong struggled on the final day and rounds of 73 and 74 saw them drop down the board into a tie for third place and solo sixth respectively.
Scotland’s Richie Ramsay had been two back going into the final day, but a front nine of 39 on Sunday cost him a chance of securing a second victory this season. He bounced back well with a 34 coming in, but the damage was done and he ended the event alone in seventh place.
Volvo China Open
Tomson Shanghai Pudong GC, Shanghai, China
Apr 23-26, purse: €3,000,000, par: 72
1 Wu Ashun (Chn) 73 66 69 71 279 €498,095
2 David Howell (Eng) 68 72 68 72 280 €332,063
T3 Emiliano Grillo (Arg) 73 70 69 69 281 €154,411
T3 Alexander Levy (Fra) 69 68 71 73 281 €154,411
T3 Prom Meesawat (Tha) 72 70 68 71 281 €154,411
6 Hao-tong Li (Chn) 71 68 69 74 282 €104,601
7 Richie Ramsay (Sco) 72 68 70 73 283 €89,658
T8 Byeong Hun An (Kor) 72 68 76 68 284 €59,324
T8 Magnus A Carlsson (Swe) 73 72 65 74 284 €59,324
T8 Tyrrell Hatton (Eng) 75 69 69 71 284 €59,324
T8 Julien Quesne (Fra) 69 67 76 72 284 €59,324
T8 Peter Uihlein (USA) 70 67 76 71 284 €59,324
T8 Romain Wattel (Fra) 72 67 74 71 284 €59,324
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage