Beijing: Chinese golf has finally woken up, said five-times Open Champion Peter Thomson after Team China pipped his Asia-Pacific Select side to win the Dongfeng Nissan Cup for the first time.
Making light of cold and rainy weather, Team China overcame the Asia-Pacific Select side 12 1/2 - 11 1/2 in a contest that went down to the very last putt after the home side won Sunday`s singles 7-5.
"I said last week that when it comes to golf, China has been asleep for 40 years -- but they have certainly woken up now," said Thomson after the victory by the home side in the southern city of Shenzhen.
"I am very impressed with the progress they have made. They are ready to take on anyone."
On Saturday they had taken the foursomes 4-2 but gone down 4 1/2 - 1 1/2 in Friday`s fourball encounters.
The OneAsia event pits 12 Asia-Pacific players against a China national team over three days of matchplay competition.
The visitors won the inaugural 2011 tournament 12 1/2 - 11 1/2, and kept the title last year with a big 14 1/2 - 9 1/2 victory.
Fellow members of Team China mobbed Su Dong after he sank a nervous four-footer to halve the 18th and beat Scott Laycock by one.
"This was a really good win for us," said Cheng Jun, Team China`s vice-captain, in comments supplied by the organisers.
"This is definitely the strongest Asia-Pacific side that we have faced in the three years of the tournament, so I am very proud that this team managed to beat them."
Despite hosting several big tournaments including one of the world`s richest events, the $8.5 million WGC-HSBC Champions, China has so far struggled to produce players to match only a handful currently ranked inside the world`s top 1,000.