New Zealand’s Luke Toomey has led home the Australasian challenge with a runner-up finish in his first start on the China Tour.

Toomey finished two shots behind American Charlie Saxon, who claimed the Tour’s opening event, and also moved to second on the Order of Merit.

With rounds of 67-66-66-68 at the Ba Ao Open, the second year Professional posted 21-under for the week, a birdie at the 70th hole giving him sole possession of second place.

One of 16 Australasians in the field, Toomey and Victorian Deyen Lawson were the only two to finish inside the top-10 with Lawson continuing the good form he showed in China in 2017 with a T6 result.

Like Toomey, Lawson was making his first start of the year and his cheque for just shy of AU$10,000 puts him 16th on the money list.

With three events co-sanctioned by the European Challenge Tour in 2018 the China Tour, owned by the China Golf Association, will offer access to the European Tour for its top money earners at season’s end.

It is one of two Tours running in China in 2018 with the PGA Tour Series China, affiliated with the PGA TOUR, also hosting several tournaments and offering access to the secondary Tour.

Max McCardle, Maverick Antcliff and New Zealand’s Matthew Perry all finished T14 with Australia’s most successful China campaigner, Bryden Macpherson, T28 at 9-under.

In all, 13 Australasians made the cut with New Zealanders Fraser Wilkin, Shane Kuiti and Kiran Muir the three not to qualify.

Kevin Yuan and Kade McBride (T31), Corey Hale (T39), Michael Pearce (T43), Cory Crawford (T45), Peter Martin (50th) and New Zealand’s Hayden Beard (T51) were the others to play the weekend.