Imperious Zong retains PDC China Premier League title
Xiaochen Zong retained the PDC China Premier League title with victory over Lihao Wen in Sunday’s final.
Zong followed up his semi-final victory over Bin Zheng with an 11-6 victory against Wen in Sunday’s decider to scoop the $1,500 top prize.
The 24-year-old dominated the league phase, winning five of the seven league nights to boast an 18-point lead at the top of table ahead of the weekend’s Play-Offs.
He also created history a fortnight ago, becoming the first player to hit a nine-darter in a PDC China streamed event, achieving perfection against Wen in ProTour Event 6.
Zong produced another classy display to defeat the same opponent in Sunday’s showpiece, defying a late fightback from Wen to clinch the title and confirm his World Cup of Darts return in June.
The two-time World Championship qualifier raced into a 9-2 lead before Wen rallied, but Zong was undeterred, closing out victory with a 91 average, four 180s and two ton-plus checkouts.
Zong kicked off the contest with six perfect darts, drawing first blood with a 13-darter before establishing an early 4-2 cushion.
He extended his lead with a run of five straight legs midway through the tie, featuring back-to-back 15-darters and a 100 checkout to move to the brink of glory.
Wen threatened an unlikely fightback, conjuring up 91 and 127 combinations to reduce the arrears to 10-6, only for Zong to complete an 18-dart hold which wrapped up proceedings.
Earlier in the day, Zong breezed to a 10-3 victory over Zheng in the semi-finals, landing four 180s and sealing the deal with a superb 12-dart hold.
Meanwhile, in the opening semi-final, Wen produced an exhibition of finishing to dispatch Chengan Liu, converting 92, 115 and 130 finishes in consecutive legs en route to an emphatic 10-4 success.
Wen will now make his PDC World Cup of Darts debut alongside Zong at the Eissporthalle in Frankfurt from June 15-18, as they bid to break new ground for China in the popular pairs event.
2023 PDC China Premier League
Sunday February 26
Xiaochen Zong 10-3 Bin Zheng
Lihao Wen 10-4 Chengan Liu
Xiaochen Zong 11-6 Lihao Wen