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

Kunming, Day 2: Lost balls and missed opportunities

zhouxunshu082407.jpgA nightmare ninth hole took Zhou Xun Shu’s name off the leaderboard Friday afternoon, and the triple bogey stayed in his head throughout the back nine (and two rain delays). Early on, Zhou was cruising in the second round of the Omega China Tour‘s stop at Lakeview Golf Club in Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province. He carded three birdies to go with one bogey on the front nine and was in second place at 5-under. But then he hooked his tee shot on No. 9, which runs dogleg left, and his ball was nowhere to be found. A long search concluded, although there was no visual evidence, that Zhou’s ball was lodged inside a knot of branches in one of the tall trees to the left of the fairway. So Zhou had to take a penalty stroke and tee off again. His following shot from the fairway landed in the sand trap before the green. Zhou then chipped a beautiful bunker shot that landed 3.5 feet from the pin. But his putt lipped out and Zhou walked off the 9th green with a 3-over 7 — slamming his putter into the grass, and then the pavement, repeatedly. He was out of the top 10, and then it started to rain.

Zhou struggled with his driver on the back nine, missing the fairway several times. He found himself focusing on saving pars, and when he did give himself birdie chances, they barely missed. Zhou posted pars on 10 through 15, and bogeyed 16 after his tee shot sliced into the water. It began to rain again while Zhou’s group was on the 17th tee. He missed a 14-foot birdie putt on that hole to remain at 1-under for the tournament. On 18, with the rain pouring down, Zhou put himself in an excellent position to enter the clubhouse at 1-over for the day, 2-under for the tournament. But play was halted before Zhou could attempt is 1-foot birdie putt. Thirty minutes later, Zhou’s putt spun out. He let out a yell, tapped in for par and, understandably frustrated, hit his ball into the water nearby.

Zhou’s 2-over 74 put him at 1-under, tied for 16th place overall, and 9 strokes behind leader Zheng Wengen (-10).

View the leaderboard here.

Photo of Zhou and an official searching for his ball on hole No. 9.

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