Xiaochen Zong claimed his fifth nightly win in the PDC China Premier League with a deciding-leg victory over Chengan Liu in a high-quality Night Seven showpiece on Tuesday.
Zong, who is unbeaten since succumbing in the semi-finals on Night One, recovered from 4-3 down to deny Liu his first nightly win in this year’s revamped tournament.
The 24-year-old fired in three 180s and produced a skin-saving 103 finish to force a last-leg shoot-out, before maintaining his composure to prevail with an impressive 94.24 average.
The pair traded breaks of throw in the opening exchanges, before Zong replied to a brilliant 11-darter from Liu with a 13-dart hold to level at two apiece.
Liu converted his second 93 checkout of the contest to move 4-3 ahead, and he was poised on double 14 for victory in the decider, only for Zong to pin double eight with his last dart to triumph.
The two-time World Championship qualifier kicked off his campaign with an emphatic 5-2 win over Night One winner Lihao Wen, who inflicted Zong’s solitary defeat of the campaign so far.
Zong then demolished Zhiwei Li in five straight legs in the semi-finals, while Liu came through hard-fought encounters against Bin Zheng and Wenge Xie to reach his third final in seven weeks.
The top four players following Night Nine will qualify for September’s Play-Offs, and Zong is now assured of top spot with only two nights of league action remaining.
Liu has cemented his spot in the top four alongside Xicheng Han and Wen, as China’s leading stars battle it out for the US$1,500 prize money and a place in the 2022/23 Cazoo World Darts Championship.