Xiao Rises to Norman’s Xiamen Challenge

December 3, 2017

Bowen Xiao savours his maiden pro victory. Picture by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour

Xiamen, China: Bowen Xiao claimed his first professional title after prevailing on the second extra hole in a play-off against Bryden Macpherson at the US$350,000 KG S&H CITY Asian Golf Championship.

The 27-year-old Xiao, who joined the play-for-pay ranks in 2012, held a three-shot lead after 14 holes but three bogeys in his closing four holes saw him sign for a two-over-par 74, which forced him to go the distance with Macpherson, who ended his campaign with a 69.

The duo were tied on three-under-par 285 in regulation play at the Kaikou Golf Club’s West Course, designed by Greg Norman Golf Course Design, a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

China’s Xiao missed a five-footer for birdie on the first play-off hole, the 440-yard par-four 18 to settle for par alongside Australian Macpherson.

Xiao redeemed himself by making a four-foot birdie putt on the same play-off hole second time around to seal the victory while 27-year-old Macpherson, who needed to claim the title to win the China Tour Order of Merit crown, bowed out with a par.

Xiao took home the winner’s cheque for US$63,000 and earned a one-year exemption on the Asian Tour.

Xiao said: “Before winning today, I have imagined countless times how my first victory will be liked. It was never the way it turned out today. I’m feeling really emotional inside. I have a lot of people to thank. It hasn’t been easy but I am glad I managed to get the job done this week.

“I am really honoured to be the third player from China to win on the Asian Tour. I don’t dare to compare myself against former Asian Tour winners Liang Wen-chong and Zhang Lian-wei because I have not achieved as much as they did for golf in China.

“This is my first professional win and it means the world to me. I enjoyed playing in my first Asian Tour event this week.”