Liang triumphant at Chengdu Open

Liang Wen-chong edged out Kim Hyung-tae in a play-off to win the opening event of the OneAsia season at the Chengdu Open.

China’s Liang Wen-chong edged out Korean Kim Hyung-tae in a play-off to win the opening event of the OneAsia season at the Luxehills Chengdu Open on Sunday.
Roared on by huge crowds at Luxehills International Country Club, Liang birdied the first extra hole on the par-five 18th to complete the wire-to-wire victory.
Liang started the final day with a three shot lead over Kim but the pair finished tied at 21-under-par after the Korean produced a final round six under 66, while the Chinese number one shot a 69.
“Wow, what a day,” said Liang after claiming his second OneAsia victory after winning the Midea China Classic last year in Guangzhou.
“I am drained having led from the first round and then ending up in a play-off.
“To win in front of my home fans in this manner makes it so special. I am very proud.”
On a thrilling back nine, Kim caught playing partner Liang with three consecutive birdies before missing a short par putt at the 15th to hand the former Asian number one a one-shot lead with three holes remaining.
The advantage, though, swung Kim’s way on the penultimate green as the Korean made a birdie two while Liang shipped a bogey to stun the galleries and hand his playing partner a one-shot advantage.
But Liang responded magnificently by holing a 15-foot birdie putt to force a play-off before sealing the victory after reaching the green in two and completing a two-putt birdie from 60 feet, while Kim agonisingly saw a 20 foot birdie chance lip out after finding a greenside bunker.
“The way Kim was playing I really thought I wasn’t going to win,” added Liang.
“On the ninth hole I really started getting some doubts and on the 18th I was also worried because I knew he would make an easy par.
“I have never concentrated so hard as I did over the putt to make a birdie and get into the play-off.”
In-form Kim triumphed at the KEB Invitational two weeks ago on the Korea China Tour in Shanghai.
“My emotions are all over the place,” said the 32-year-old.
“After the 17th I thought I had it. I could have won and should have, but it was a great week for me.”
Korean duo Kim Do-hoon (64) and Kang Kyung-nam (66) finished tied for third two shots off the pace, with Australian Kurt Barnes, who began the day tied with Kim, closed with a 69 to share fifth with 19-year-old Korean Kim Bio (68).