Wu Ashan claims historic win in Shanghai as Howell bogeys 18th

Golf round-up: Lee Westwood seals hat-trick in Indonesia; weather woes in New Orleans

Wu Ashun of China receives the golden jacket next to the trophy after winning the Volvo China Open  in Shanghai. Photo:  Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Wu Ashun of China receives the golden jacket next to the trophy after winning the Volvo China Open in Shanghai. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

 

Wu Ashun became the first Chinese player to win a European Tour event on home soil on Sunday as David Howell bogeyed the 72nd hole of the Volvo China Open.

Howell needed to birdie the par-five 18th to win or make par to force a play-off after Wu had set the clubhouse target on nine under par in testing conditions at Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club.

However, the former Ryder Cup player three-putted from the fringe after charging his birdie attempt seven feet past the hole to hand victory to world number 247 Wu.

Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo, who double-bogeyed the 17th, shared third place on seven under with defending champion Alexander Levy and Thailand’s Prom Meesawat, with 19-year-old Li Hao-tong following his runners-up finish in the Shenzhen International last week with sixth place after a bogey on the last.

“It’s a wonderful day,” Wu said. “Everybody knows it was very tough today with the wind. I played very good today, not up or down, just simple golf.

“It’s very special for a Chinese player to win the China Open. It’s very exciting to win a great tournament here. My heart is very happy.”

Howell, who had shared the overnight lead with Wu, Levy and Li, looked the most likely winner when he carded his fourth birdie of the day on the 11th to claim the outright lead, only to bogey the 14th after failing to get up and down from a greenside bunker.

That left him tied with Wu in the group ahead who had birdied the 10th and finished with eight straight pars to card a closing 71 which ultimately proved good enough for victory.

“Obviously it’s very disappointing,” Howell today European Tour Radio. “I was in good shape to win the tournament and didn’t get it done. That being said, I didn’t do an awful lot wrong.

“I holed a lovely putt on 17 to give myself a chance on the last and I kind of realised I was already in a play-off. Ashun was already in on nine under and I had it to win on the last and I had it to lose, which would have been the same if we’d gone into extra holes.

“It was tight all day but I was very calm. I wasn’t as nervous as sometimes I have been in that situation, which was pleasing. The thing I think cost me was my second shot to 14.

“I was in a good position, didn’t birdie 13 (a par five) when I was in the lead at that point and then hit a poor eight iron on 14, just a poor swing and got a bad lie in a waste area and made bogey which let everyone back into the tournament.”

Lee Westwood claimed a third CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters title in the last five years despite letting slip a five-shot lead in Jakarta on Sunday.

Westwood had taken command of the tournament with a stunning 65 in the third round, which featured an eagle followed by five straight birdies in a back nine of 29.

However, the 42-year-old struggled to a closing 73 after bogeys on the 16th and 17th to finish level with Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat on seven under par, before making amends with a birdie on the first play-off hole.

“Winning never gets any easier and it was a tough day out there,” Westwood said.

“I didn’t have the best of starts but battled back and made a couple of birdies around the turn to get more comfortable before three terrible putts on the last three greens.

“I’ve been very fortunate. As soon as I turned up five years ago I liked the course and thought it might suit my game. It’s nice to have come here three times and won three times. It’s a good hat-trick.”

rat had set the clubhouse target after seven birdies and one bogey in a final round of 66.

Erik Compton took a share of the lead with four birdies in six holes before play was suspended due to darkness on a rain-plagued third day of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Compton and Jason Day are both tied on 13 under at the top of the leaderboard, but there is a long way to go with both men not even halfway through their penultimate rounds.

They sit one shot ahead of Englishman Justin Rose, Canadian David Hearn and American duo Blayne Barber and Jerry Kelly.

Australian Day only managed to play three holes of his third round after earlier taking the second-round lead by finishing off a seven-under 65 after incremental weather also affected play on Friday.

Compton also had to finish off his second round, before waiting to go again and he was just glad to have hit the ground running in the six holes he was able to play despite the long delays.

“It was nice to come out this morning and finish the round,” Compton told the PGA Tour website. “And then, I basically just did what everybody else did, just saddled up and waited.

With a storm lashing the region Day only managed to play seven holes across the two rounds in 13 hours on Saturday.

Hudson Swafford, who held a share of the lead on Friday, is part of a four-strong cluster two shots behind, which also includes Justin Thomas, Chris Stroud and Brendon de Jonge.

Canadian teenager Brooke Henderson clung to a one-stroke lead after a poor finish to the third round at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in California on Saturday.

Henderson bogeyed the final two holes and shot even-par 72 after squandering a five-stroke lead on the Lake Merced course in San Francisco.

The 17-year-old betrayed her nerves in attempting to save par at the last, her timid jab at a four-foot putt failing to even threaten the hole.

Henderson, who does not have exempt status on the LPGA circuit after being denied a waiver due to her age, is nine under with a total of 207.

American Morgan Pressel (67) and South Korean Kwak Min-seo (69) are one shot behind, while defending champion Lydia Ko trails by three.

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