Source AP ©

Liang becomes first Chinese golfer to win USD 1 million on Asian Tour

Liang Wenchong became the first Chinese golfer to earn US$1 million in Asian Tour prize money, narrowly beating his mentor Zhang Lianwei to the milestone.

Liang picked up US$80,645 (EURO 59,300) on Sunday for placing second at the Maekyung Open in South Korea and increased his career haul to US$1.02 million (EURO 750,012), the Asian Tour confirmed Monday.

Zhang, a five-time winner on the Asian Tour and long considered the trailblazer for Chinese golf, was US$672 (EURO 494) short of joining the million-dollar club, the tour said. He can reach the six-figure mark by making the cut at next week's Macau Open, an event he has won twice.

Liang is the 12th player to surpass the million-dollar mark on the Asian Tour, with Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee leading the career money list with US$2.4 million (EURO 1.76 million).

Liang said his next aim was to win the Asian order of merit title. He is in second place behind South African Anton Haig after 13 of 29 tournaments in 2007.

"I am hoping to challenge for the Order of Merit title - I would like to win this award," he said.

Liang, 28, won the Singapore Masters in March and has five other top-10 finishes this season for US$423,462 (EURO 311,300) in prize money.

He donated his US$183,330 (EURO 134,771) winner's check from Singapore to help develop golf in his country.

Haig, who collected US$405,000 (EURO 297,693) after winning the Johnnie Walker Classic in Thailand in a three-way playoff, leads the order or merit with US$427,685 (EURO 314,693).

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