Fashion-conscious Xu shares lead with Zhou in season finale
Xu Qin and in-form Zhou Jun both shot three-under-par 69s to share the first-round lead in the Omega Championship, the China Tour's season-ending event at the Beijing Longxi Hotspring Golf Club.
Hong Kong-based Nick Redfern and Andy Zhou Xunshu, who both had their wives caddying for them, each carded 70 to lie joint-third with Wu Ligui.
Taiwan's Hsu Mong-nan, Hong Kong's Wong Woon-man and Chen Xiaoma, last year's Most Improved Player, shot 71 to share sixth place.
Fashion-conscious Xu, who admits that he models his clothes and hairstyle on flamboyant English Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter, had a bogey-free round, picking up three birdies after the turn to top the leaderboard for the first time.
'If I dress well, I feel good. Recently I've been paying even more attention to Ian Poulter. I always check what he's wearing, from his trousers to his shirts. My hair is also high like his,' said the slimline Xu, who was disqualified from the season-opener in Guangzhou after accidentally missing his tee time.
'Today, I drove well and my irons were good, especially after the turn. If you can cope with these greens, which are so large and sloping, you can score well. I'd love to win this week because I've never won on the Omega China Tour.'
Zhou Jun was arguably the happiest player of all after continuing his good form from last month's Tianjin Championship, where his fourth-place finish was his best on the circuit.
'Today was my first-ever bogey-free round. I'm so happy about that,' beamed the Tianjin-born 24-year-old, who enjoyed playing with former China national team colleague Wu Kangchun.
'My irons were particularly good, so I just hope I can continue like this in the second round.'