Chinese contender to lap up Smith pairing

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He is the Chinese wildcard who will play alongside Brisbane hero Cameron Smith for a shot at the Australian PGA Championship crown.

And Yan Wei Liu is loving it.

Liu carded a one-under 70 on Saturday, hitting the flag on the par-three 11th hole to be narrowly denied a new BMW for a hole-in-one.

A birdie on the 16th snuck him into a share of second with Japan's Masahiro Kawamura to earn a place on centre stage at Royal Queensland on Sunday.

Two-time tournament winner Smith, now world No.3, has drawn thousands of spectators on his return after three years to Australia.

"That will be very, very exciting for me," Liu said of the showdown.

"That's by far the best player I've played with in a tournament round, so I'll be looking forward to that.

"Definitely going to be a little bit edgy out there tomorrow, but (I'll carry) the same mindset of the last two days and just give it my best shot."

Liu carded 67 and 68 in his first two rounds, maintaining solid form from a DP World Tour qualifying school mission in Spain that narrowly fell short.

He still earned an invite to the Australian swing and now has his sights set on full European status next year.

"I turned pro quite early, I was 17, back in China," he said.

"I started playing the (Asian Tour) in 2015, so that got me a lot of experience of playing, being professional at a young age. 

"It's been a great experience (but) that's always my goal, the DP World Tour. 

"So (I'm) just really happy to be playing here."


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