QINHUANGDAO, CHINA—After narrowly losing in a playoff at last year’s Qinhuangdao Championship, England’s Steve Lewton returns to Qinhuangdao Poly Golf Club looking to do “one better” and secure his first PGA TOUR Series-China title.
The 36-year-old Englishman looked like he might win in 2018 after he shot a 4-under 68 in the final round, but that wasn’t enough to hold off New Zealand’s Nick Voke, who fashioned a 66 to force a playoff. After both players parred the first extra hole, Voke won the event with a 15-foot birdie putt.
The runner-up finish earned Lewton RMB 162,000, his top career payday on the Tour, which along with three other top-10s, helped him finish 14th on the Order of Merit.
Now in his second year on Tour, Lewton is currently 16th on the money list, having made the cut in the season’s first four events—including a tie for fifth at the Chongqing Championship. But the former European Tour player is still hungry to become the first Englishman to win on this Tour.
“It would be nice to go one better this year, but I played great last year. Obviously, Nick played really well, as well, but my goal is to put in four really good rounds this week,” said Lewton, who took part in Wednesday’s press conference. “I’ve been playing pretty solid. I’ve just been having one iffy round a week, so (I) need to cut that out. I’ve made every cut and had one good finish so far; so feeling good for this event.”
Lewton, who resides 50 miles northwest of London in Milton Keynes, enjoys the windy coastal conditions here and hopes a good finish can help him reach his target of finishing the year inside the top five on the Order of Merit.
“It’s kind of an English golf course. Treelines are good, it’s not too wide and it’s pretty windy. Hopefully it will be windy, I think that gives me an advantage,” said Lewton, who trains at Woburn Golf Club. “I try to take it event by event, but I’d like to get a win this year, hopefully here, and to finish top five is the goal for this year.”