Pace-setter Zhang all out to remain in Tour driving seat

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 May, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 May, 1997, 12:00am

Zhang Lianwei will attempt to turn the screw on his rivals for the Volvo Rankings crown when the third leg of the 1997 China Tour tees-off in Guangzhou this morning.

Following his joint third placing in the Volvo Open and his victory in the Hugo Boss Open, China's number one holds a clear lead at the head of the money list.

Even though there will be no complacency on the part of Zhang, he knows his adversaries will be aiming to make up ground now that the circuit has moved away from his home Shenzhen Golf Club (SGC).

'The overall standard of play has improved tremendously this year and because of the quality of players, I don't think there was much advantage for me at Shenzhen,' said Zhang, who has accumulated earnings of US$18,187.

Despite the fact that Zhang has only made a handful of appearances at the Luhu Golf Club in the heart of Guangzhou where the Coca-Cola Open will be staged, he has every reason to be full of confidence.

In four rounds at the SGC last week he was a combined 18 under par. His closing 65 in the Hugo Boss Open was the lowest equal single round in Volvo China Tour history, while his 132 total was the lowest winning aggregate in 10 events since the circuit's inauguration in 1995.

Of those, Zhang has won three, had five other top-seven finishes, and only once failed to place among the top-10.

Zhang's greatest threat may come from the Malaysian Ali Kadir. Playing the percentages, Ali ran away to victory at Luhu last year with rounds of 66 and 70.