Ashun Wu became the first Chinese player to win three times on the European Tour by making a birdie on the final hole to secure a one-stroke victory over Englishman Chris Wood at the KLM Open and all but seal his spot at the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.
The 33 year old, whose last victory came at the 2016 Lyoness Open, started the final day one shot back from Wood but after four birdies and only one dropped shot, Wu reached the 18th level with Wood before picking up his fifth shot of the day to take the clubhouse lead. Wood needed a birdie to force a play-off but came up short after seeing his eagle putt sail past the hole as he three-putted for par to hand Wu victory at The Dutch.
With the triumph, Wu shoots up from 90th to 43rd in the Race to Dubai Rankings which puts him on course for a debut appearance at the DP World Tour Championship after accumulating 713,841 points this season.
“Congratulations to Ashun on becoming China’s most decorated European Tour player, it really is a remarkable achievement and one he should be very proud of” said Nick Tarratt, Director European Tour International Dubai Office.
“The European Tour is truly a global tour with players from all over the world aiming for the top 60 in the Race to Dubai so they can have their shot of glory at the DP World Tour Championship. Ashun looks like he has all but secured his spot and we look forward to welcoming him to Jumeirah Golf Estates for the first time.”
As well as being China’s most prolific European Tour winner, Wu also becomes the country’s second victor this season after Haotong Li’s sublime display at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
“It is very special for a Chinese player to play on the European Tour,” said Wu. “I love playing with some of the best players in the world and to win three times feels amazing.
"This week has been unbelievable. The weather has been beautiful and a lot of good golf was played here – I really like this course. I want to thank my caddy, he was telling me to focus and I was just focused on playing every shot as well as I could. My wife has also been here supporting me so that was very special and a huge help.”
Meanwhile, Wood’s second place finish puts him on the verge of the Race to Dubai top 20 after moving from 25th to 21st with a season tally of 1,307,934 points.
Belgium’s Thomas Detry and Japan’s Hideto Tanihara finished two off the pace as they settled for a share of third place. The result gives both players a much needed boost up the Race to Dubai Rankings as the look to seal a spot in the DP World Tour
Championship. Detry jumps from 54th to 46th on 674,330 points whilst Tanihara sits on 632,523 points in 49th.
The top three in the Race to Dubai remains unchanged with Italy’s Francesco Molinari leading the way on 4,635,909 points, the USA’s Patrick Reed in second place with 3,057,948 points and reigning Race to Dubai champion, England’s Tommy Fleetwood, in third place with 2,805,042 points.
The DP World Tour Championship takes place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from Thursday 15 to Sunday 18 November.