World No. 2 Lee Westwood continued his love affair with Asia by holing a 12-foot birdie putt to beat Liang Wenchong on the first hole of a playoff for the seven-day, seven-city Shui On Land China Golf Challenge.
The duo parred the day's two holes at Caesars Golf in Macau to record an 18-hole total of 2-under 71, one ahead of English compatriot Ian Poulter, who birdied the 356-yard, par-4 18th. US Open champion Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, the world No. 3, finished 6-over after a unique event that featured 5,600 kilometers of flights across the east, north, west and south of China.
Westwood and Liang replayed the 18th for the playoff and both found the rough with their tee-shots. The Chinese No. 1 hit his approach long into the spectators at the back of the green and chipped close before Westwood capped off a long week with a long putt, then celebrated with 10-year-old Nathan Han, his caddy for the day.
"I think I do well in Asia because I just adapt well. I adapt to the grasses and I adapt to the culture and the food. Playing golf is all about adapting," said Westwood, 38, who has twice been world No. 1 in the last 12 months.
Westwood said the Shui On Land China Golf Challenge achieved its ambitions of raising the profile of golf in the country after earlier stopping in Shanghai, Zhengzhou, Beijing, Dalian, Chongqing and Dongguan.
Liang, who led after day three before Westwood joined him on top of the leaderboard on Saturday, was proud of his performance.
"It has been a great tournament and I'm happy I was able to get into the playoff with Lee. I did my best and although I lost, it was by the smallest margin. I've been able to play with three world-class players," he said.