Dominant Zong claims PDC China Premier League glory

Xiaochen Zong (Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Xiaochen Zong continued his sparkling form to clinch PDC China Premier League glory with victory over Xicheng Han in Sunday’s Play-Offs.

Zong capped off a dominant campaign by defeating Han 11-6 in Sunday’s final to scoop the US$1,500 top prize, extending his astonishing winning run in the competition to 23 games.

The 24-year-old secured top spot in the league phase after winning seven of the nine knockout nights, having not tasted defeat since the tournament’s opening night in July.

The two-time World Cup of Darts qualifier reaffirmed his superiority by defeating Han and Chengan Liu to prevail on Finals Night, recording a sixth straight win over Han to lift the title.

The pair exchanged holds in a scrappy start to proceedings, before Zong seized the early initiative with a run of four consecutive legs - including a 13-darter in leg six.

The next four legs were shared as Han attempted to rally, and he converted 102 and 110 combinations on double 18 to threaten a late fightback.

Zong responded with an assured 13-dart hold to move a leg away from victory at 10-5, although he spurned two match darts in leg 16 as Han sank tops to prolong the contest.

The 24-year-old avoided further drama though, following up his second maximum with a 76 finish on tops to triumph in the following leg.

Earlier in the day, Zong fended off a spirited fightback from Liu to seal his spot in Sunday’s showpiece, firing in five 180s and averaging 91 to complete a 10-7 success.

Zong made a blistering start to race into a 5-0 lead, yet a 120 finish from Liu in leg six provided the catalyst for a stirring comeback.

The two-time World Championship qualifier also converted 121 and 100 checkouts to restore parity at seven apiece, but Zong recovered by reeling off the last three legs to progress.

Han, a winner on Night Four of this year’s revamped competition, had edged out Lihao Wen in the second semi-final, rattling in four 180s to close out a hard-fought 10-8 victory.