Top stars struggle in China Challenge

Lee Westwood couldn't catch leader Liang Wen-chong after 13 holes of the Shui On Land China Golf Challenge.

Golf News: China Challenge

However, he did come close to three Sand Tiger sharks in ‘Dancing With The Sharks', Chongqing Tiandi's most famous bar.

"Very impressive. It wasn't what I expected at all. You only normally see bars like that on TV," the world number two said in Chongqing on day five of the week-long, seven-city tournament. "However, I wasn't going to dance on stage. I left that to the girls."

Ian Poulter, who shares second place with Westwood at one-under, a shot behind Liang, did rise to the occasion and the renowned showman was the only one of the four players on stage to dance in front of the enormous fish tank.

"I'd usually rather have a couple of drinks in me before I start cutting some shapes, but it was a very cool bar," said Poulter, who led for the first two days of the 18-hole tournament.

"There's three nine-foot Tiger Sharks swimming around in there so I can see why that's a hot place. It looks like they have some very interesting activities, lots of dancing, and it seems pretty lively."

The colourfully dressed Englishman, resplendent in check trousers and blue shoes, donned a face mask and even started putting on a wetsuit as he threatened to join some bikini-clad ladies in the adjacent swimming pool.

At Sun Kingdom Golf Club earlier in the day, Rory McIlroy was the only player to bag a birdie during the two holes, having struggled on the course during the first four days. The 22-year-old US Open birdied the 173-yard par-three 12th to move to six-over, while the three other players parred both holes.

Westwood came closest to a birdie at the monster 678-yard par-five, narrowly missing his first putt after a great pitch close to the flag on the event's longest hole.

"That was a long hole, wasn't it? I haven't played a hole that long for a while, plus it was wet," Westwood said.

The Englishman, who has twice been world number one in the last year, said that the players were still in high spirits after a whirlwind schedule that has included five flights in the last four days.

"It's a piece of cake, really. We're flying around on Bombardier private jets, taking Rolls-Royces and Hummers. We've stayed in great hotels. We get a great reception wherever we go, so travelling's easy," Westwood said.

"It's amazing when you visit all these cities. If golf booms in this country, then it will be huge and they will be a force to reckon with. They have good junior and Olympic programmes. Golf being in the Olympics is key to growing the game here as China has a good Olympic history in other sports, so why would it be any different with golf."

On Saturday, the quartet will play three holes in the Shui On Land China Golf Challenge at Long Island Golf and Country Club before participating in a charity pro-am.



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