Date: April 27, 2009
Author: PA Sport

Barnes snares China title

Kurt Barnes became the first Australian winner on the Omega China Tour after a final round of 72 gave the 27-year-old a one-stroke victory at the Sofitel Zhongshan IGC Open. Barnes&apos level-par round at Nanjing Zhongshan International GC included an eagle, a bogey and a double-bogey at the par-three eighth after he four-putted, to finish four-under, one ahead of Thailand&aposs Wisut Arjanawat and two ahead of Zhang Lianwei. Barnes started the day one stroke behind overnight leader Zhang but went in front after he birdied the second, which the Chinese player bogeyed before double-bogeying the third. “This feels awesome. It&aposs a huge weight off my shoulders,” said the 27-year-old, whose last victory was the 2005 Victorian Open. “To lift a trophy in my first start on the Omega China Tour is just great. I was surprised to be in the lead so quickly and go three ahead after three holes.” “I dodged a lot of bullets today, especially after I four-putted eight and hit into the hazard with my tee-shot on 16.” “The key for me today was patience. I only made a few mistakes, but I reacted well when I made them and stayed calm.” Wisut fired a 68 that featured an eagle – when he chipped in at the 11th – six birdies and four bogeys. “I feel so happy, as I wasn&apost expecting this. My ball striking was really good this week. I could have putted a little better, but the greens were hard to read,” he said. Zhang&aposs 75 cost him the title and the 43-year-old admitted: “I had a bad start in the first three holes and was never able to catch up after that.”