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Sui leads by one in Shanghai******
SHANGHAI, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- Sui Xiang set the early pace at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Championship on Thursday as the Guangdong native carded a first-round score of two-under 70 for a one-stroke lead at Lanhai International Golf Club.
Liu Wenbo, the China LPGA Tour of Merit leader, was tied for second with 15-year-old amateur An Tong after both opened with a 71 at the RMB1 million tournament being played at the Yangtze Dunes course on Chongming Island. Shi Yuli, Sun Jiaze and amateur Zeng Liqi were equal third on even-par 72.
Playing on the severely undulating links-style course created by Australian design company OCCM, Sui, who was third last week in Zhuhai, kept it together in the breezy conditions to post a round that featured five birdies and three bogeys, including one at the 394-yard, par-four last.
With the tournament doubling its prize money this year and offering more world ranking points, Sui added the conditions were right for inspired golf.
"It's my first time here. I felt it was one of the toughest golf courses I played on the Tour during the practice round. Going into this round my nerves were stretched to a breaking point," said the 22-year-old who quickly calmed down to sink a 45-foot birdie putt on the 359-yard fourth hole.
"I played a solid round without any big mistakes. Luck was on my side on a couple of holes. My long game was solid. I just need to be better on chipping and putting."
Liu turned around an uneventful front nine when she made a hole-in-one at the 163-yard eighth hole after her ball found the cup with a seven-iron for her sixth career ace. She then made birdie at the next to make the turn at two-under 34. The Beijinger dropped shots at the 11th and 14th holes before posting a late birdie four at the 467-yard 17th to move into contention.
"I hit it (her hole-in-one shot) with a 3/4 swing trying to find a good spot. I didn't watch how the ball rolled into the hole. The people around the green didn't tell us what had happened. When we walked up there, we tried to locate where it was. I thought it would be over the green. It took time for us to find it in the hole. It was a funny scene," said the 20-year-old, a two-time winner on the CLPGA Tour.
"We seldom get to experience a links course. It is different from those other venues on the Tour. It is definitely a great challenge, which needs accuracy. Even without the wind, it would be tough. The wind was strong out there today."
An, currently 523rd in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, started her day on the Yangtze Dunes back nine and carded a round that featured four birdies and five bogeys through 17 holes. The teenager finished strongly when she made an eagle three at her last hole, the 500-yard ninth.
"I was in a poor form last week. Yesterday, my father (her caddie) and I spent 30 minutes talking with the headmaster of the PGA Academy on site going into this round. It changed a lot for both of us and we cooperated better," said the Tianjin native, winner of leg two of the HSBC National Junior Champions event in April.
Notable scores included Yan Panhong, the winner last week in Zhuhai, who was tied for 15th in a group of nine players on five-over 77.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Championship first round leading scores (*denotes amateur):
70 - Sui Xiang
71 - Liu Wenbo, An Tong*
72 - Shi Yuli, Sun Jiaze, Zeng Liqi*
73 - Zhang Yahui*
74 - Han Yucen, Lyu Tian
75 - Tan Lingling, Tian Qi, Wei Fang
76 - Zhang Yunjie, Lu Li
China coach Li urges team to "fight for every ball" in WC qualifier******
SHARJAH, UAE, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- China's national team head coach Li Tie has urged his players to "fight for every ball" in their upcoming World Cup qualifier against Australia.。
"We have overcome many obstacles to reach the final round of the qualifying tournament, therefore we cherish every game," Li told the pre-match press conference on Monday.。
"After five games, the team is getting better and better, while all the players are concentrated. I hope the players can do their best to play tomorrow's game well," he added.。
Australia beat China 3-0 in style when they met in Doha for the first time in the final round of the Asian World Cup qualifiers in September.。
"It was a high-tempo game that my players barely experienced before. Now they are getting used to the tempo. I told my players they must play better than the first leg and fight for every ball to create more difficulties for the opponents," Li said.。
China now ranks fifth in the six-team group with four points from five games, while Australia sits second with ten points. Li's team has to beat the Australians to keep their World Cup dream alive.。
"There is no doubt that the Australian team is better than us, as many of their players are based in European leagues. But nothing is impossible on the pitch, it's important that we have confidence in ourselves and never give up," Li added.。
Australian defender Harry Souttar will miss Tuesday's match due to injury, but the Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold said he doesn't worry about the team's defense.。
"It's a loss for our team because Souttar is a big central defender, but we still have some quality players. Millos Degenek is very experienced player, he played many European Champions League football, we expect he will have good performance," said Arnold.。
"We want to have good performance and look forward to winning the match," he added. Enditem。