22 Mar 2013
Ye Wo-cheng makes European Tour history.
Twelve year-old Chinese schoolboy Ye Wo-cheng will take his place in European Tour history when he competes in the Volvo China Open in May.
Ye, from Dongguan on China's South East Coast, will become the youngest player to tee off in a European Tour event after he secured one of the three qualifying spots at the Western Qualifier in Chengdu on Wednesday.
His age will trump Asia-Pacific Amateur champion Guan Tian-lang, who qualified for last year’s Volvo China Open aged 13 years and 173 days.
“I couldn’t have got off to a much better start,” he said. “I actually slept very well last night, so I was really looking forward to the round. My dad told me to just relax and enjoy it, but it was actually quite a nerve-wracking day,” he tolf the European Tour.
Despite dropping shots after the turn, including a triple bogey at the 16th after he was penalised two strokes for accidentally dislodging a tree leaf on his backswing, Ye comfortably qualified on two under par.
“Playing in a European Tour event will be a whole new experience for me so I’ll be practicing very hard for Tianjin,” said Ye. “I will also be doing some gym work to get stronger, as I’ve heard that Binhai Lake is a long golf course.”
Coach David Watson was on hand to see his student achieve what he had set out to do more than 12 months ago.
“It was only a matter of time before he landed a really big one like this,” said the Guangdong-based Briton. “He’s been shooting in the 60s regularly over the past few months, so I am not surprised at all to see him qualify for the Volvo China Open. I could not be more proud of him.”