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Tuesday, 24 April 2018
Bernd Wiesberger  (Getty Images)
Bernd Wiesberger (Getty Images)

Bernd Wiesberger may have finished fourth at last year's Volvo China Open, but the Austrian feels like he is defending the title at Topwin Golf & Country Club this week.

The 32 year old won the Shenzhen International last season but with that tournament not on the European Tour International Schedule this season, Wiesberger is treating another event on Chinese soil as his defence.

“I love coming back over here," he said. "I feel like it is a defence for me this week.

“I love coming to China. I love playing here. I’ve always played well and I’m also looking forward to this week."

“Obviously I came off a high from winning Shenzhen and I think I finished fourth or fifth last year, so played well. It’s a course that I like."

Wiesberger finished just two shots behind winner Alexander Levy in this event 12 months ago, and comes into the tournament on the back of a top-25 finish at the Masters Tournament.

 I love coming to China. I love playing here - ​Bernd Wiesberger

“It was tough to get breaks and unfortunate not to get a better score on the card than I did," he said of his week at Augusta National.

"I felt I played really well and had a good, nice two weeks off. Good practice the last two days and just trying to progress nicely into this week."

Another player to have made a good impression at the year's first Major Championship was Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who overcame an opening 79 to make the cut and finish in a share of 44th.

The Thai star is full of confidence this week and revealed that China's national Open holds a special connection for his family.

“The game is going fantastic - everybody will know after this week," he said.

“China is part of my great-grandfather’s family. So to win here (means) a lot to my dad. So hopefully I will win again and the golf course is always in fantastic shape in China.

“The key thing is you have to hole the putt. Just keep it low and beat every one of the 144 players, that is the key for me."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1BJÖRK, AlexanderSWE18-18
2OTAEGUI, AdrianESP18-17
T3SMITH, JordanENG18-16
T3CAMPILLO, JorgeESP18-16
T3WALLACE, MattENG18-16
6BJERREGAARD, LucasDEN18-15

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