Rival waves white flag at Liang

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 April, 2006, 12:00am

Liang Wenchong defied a miserable wet day to build a seemingly unassailable 10-shot advantage going into the final round of the Omega China Tour's Hainan Leg at the Kangle Garden Spa.

The 27-year-old shot his second successive seven-under-par 65 to move to 14 under for the tournament, forcing at least one of his distant rivals to fly the white flag.

'Liang has given me a wonderful example of how to play a great round of golf,' said last year's runaway winner of the China Tour Order of Merit, Li Chao, who moved into a tie with Zhang Lianwei for second place with a 69.

'If I have the chance I will say thank you to him. And then I will try to catch him. I know I'm a bit too far away already. Ten strokes behind Liang and with the great performance he showed in this round, I don't think I stand any chance,' said Li.

Despite five birdies and an eagle, Liang had looked as if he was going to face a stern challenge from his mentor Zhang, who eagled the par-five 11th to move to seven under par.

However, the 40-year-old veteran, who has a US Masters appearance and a European PGA Tour victory to his credit, admitted that he let his fantastic form confuse him to the point of distraction, leading to four dropped shots on his way to a 68.

'I started thinking about whether I should go for it or just be conservative. I realise that that kind of unstable thought cost me the following two bogeys [on the 12th and 13th holes]. I really hate it. I shouldn't do that in the first place,' Zhang said.

Despite those problems, Zhang expressed his delight at having solved putting problems that have plagued him recently, particularly from around 10 to 15 feet, and to his surprise he found the solution on the China Tour in the form of the little-known Wu Lihui. The Shenzhen professional has been working with Zhang to keep his legs more stationary and he says the results were evident during the third round.