Zhou Xunshu: A pro golfer on the China Tour Rotating Header Image

Zhou Xunshu featured on CNN

It’s already been a banner year for Zhou Xunshu. He earned the best finish of his career in May, placing second at the Handa Cup at Beijing Jinhua Golf Club. And shortly after that he was rewarded with a sponsorship from Sun Kingdom Golf Club, the top club in Chongqing. Now, he can also say he’s been featured on CNN.

Last month, Zhou featured prominently in a CNN feature on Chongqing entitled “Chicago on the Yangtze.” You can find both the TV clip and the accompanying web story here.

Here’s how Steven Jiang’s story begins:

Chongqing, China (CNN) — Zhou Xunshu and Yan Qi both grew up in the mountains in southwestern China, but today their hometowns are worlds apart.

Zhou’s home village in a remote corner of Guizhou province remains impoverished.

“Every time I go back, I feel saddened,” said the 37-year-old professional golfer. “It was poor and it’s getting poorer.”

Read the whole story here.

A second part of the story should air soon. Stay tuned for details.

Milestone: Zhou finishes second, earns pro card

Apologies — we are very late on announcing some great news. Earlier this year, Zhou Xunshu realized one of the main goals of his pro golfing career. In May, Zhou finished second in the Handa Cup in Beijing. The top-three finish earned Zhou his elusive “pro card.” He is now officially a “professional golfer” and not just a “pro coach” in the eyes of the China Golf Association.

Zhou actually came painfully close to notching the first win of his pro career in Beijing. He held a commanding 5-stroke lead with four holes to play in the third round. But Zhou double bogeyed No. 15 and Chen Xiaoma, his closest challenger, birdied on 16. Zhou’s lead shrank to two strokes heading into his final round. On Sunday, two early bogeys sealed his fate. He shot a 75 to Chen’s 72 and, just like that, victory turned into 1-stroke defeat.

The final leaderboard is here. Here‘s a post-third-round story from Sina (in Chinese). And here is an ESPNStar story, also in Chinese, filed after the final round.

After the 2009 season, the Omega China Tour folded and the China PGA Champions Tour was born. Tournaments have been infrequent, however. Most recently, Zhou finished tied for 11th at the tour’s stop in Yantai last week.

Below are some photos of Zhou from the Handa Cup.