Jin extends lead at the top at White Mountain Wanda Open
Jilin, China, July 1: China’s Daxing Jin remained on course to become the first Chinese winner on the China Tour this season when he fired a third round five-under-par 67 to extend his lead at the White Mountain Wanda Open on Saturday.Jin will head into the final round of the ¥1.35million event with a three-shot cushion over England’s Michael Skelton after compiling a three-day total of 13-under-par 203 at the picturesque Jilin White Birch Club.
Skelton carded the day’s lowest score of 64 to move nine places up to second while Korea’s Ray Hyun Cho, who had earlier triumphed at the China Tour’s season-opening event, signed for a 70 to take third place.
American Jeffrey Kang had the honour of recording the tournament’s first hole-in-one when he aced the 205-yard par-three 15 with a six-iron.
Starting the day with a one-shot advantage, Jin quickly extended his lead with an opening birdie.
He fired further birdies on holes four, five and nine to turn in 32. Jin then marked his card with two more birdies on 13 and 17 before dropping a shot on the closing 18.
“I putted really well in my front-nine. I didn’t get as many birdies in my back-nine but overall I’m very happy. I’m playing one of my best golf this week and I’m really delighted,” said Jin.
Looking ahead to his final charge, Jin knows he has to stay patient before he can start dreaming of his breakthrough on the China Tour.
“I don’t want to give myself too much pressure tomorrow. I just want to do my best and see what happens,” said Jin.
Skelton had two eagles and five birdies to thanks for soaring him up the leaderboard.
The Englishman’s only blemish came on the par-four second but he was nevertheless still delighted with his round which was also his lowest round carded as a professional.
“It was very pleasing and probably one of the best tournament rounds I’ve ever played. This is my lowest round as a professional. I was in control and was feeling very confident,” said Skelton.
Playing in his first year on the China Tour, Kang is already beginning to savour some wonderful memories, especially with his first ace in the middle kingdom.
“I heard the ball hit the pin and the group in front confirmed the ball went in. This is my sixth hole-in-one as a professional.
“I’m enjoying myself in China and it has been good so far. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the tournaments here and I thought I give it a try,” said the 22-year-old University of Southern California graduate.