In-form Macpherson goes close again in China

China’s Xinjun Zhang has denied Bryden Macpherson a third win in four starts in China with a four-stroke victory over the Victorian in the Chongqing Jiangnan NewTown KingRun Open on the PGA TOUR China Series.

Macpherson made a valiant start to the round over the opening holes with four successive birdies but in the end, Zhang’s final-round, 7-under 65 was simply too good, after starting the day just a shot ahead of Macpherson and fellow Australian Ray Beaufils.

Bryden Macpherson Bryden Macpherson (Credit: PGA Tour China)

Zhang’s second successive 65 saw him in with a four-round total of 273, 15-under par for the tournament.

“I’m very, very excited to win this title,” Zhang said. “I felt some pressure on the front nine, especially when Bryden made his four-birdie streak. We were neck and neck. But on the back nine, I felt relaxed in my putting, and I felt less pressure.”

“The way (Zhang) played on the back nine, he’s a worthy champion. He played well when he needed to, and he deserved to win,” Macpherson said, who holed for birdie from ten feet on the last to grab solo second ahead of New Zealander Daniel Pearce.

“I’m a little bit disappointed. But that’s just part of how it goes,” Macpherson added, “Sometimes it doesn’t go your way. If someone beats you by playing well, you can’t really be angry about that.”

Jack Munro (7th), Ray Beaufils (T8th) and Rohan Blizard (T10th) were the remaining Australians who completed the tournament inside the top-ten.

Macpherson’s latest high finish closed the gap on Order of Merit leader Josh Geary, who was absent this week. Macpherson is second on the rankings in earnings after playing only five events, only ¥72,530 behind Geary’s¥726,230 (approx. US$119,000).

Just three events remain in the season with the Nine Dragons Open the next event on the schedule from November 19-22.