Zhang Jun-bin and Du Mo-han crowned Volvo China Junior Match Play Champions

Top seeds Zhang Jun-bin and Du Mo-han claimed victories in the Volvo China Junior Match Play Championship at Golden Mountain Golf Club in Shandong today.

Zhang won the boy’s match with a score of 4&3 over the 13th seed Chen Yi-long, while Du had to work much harder for her victory in the girl’s group over seventh seed Cai Dan-lin, eventually winning on the third extra hole.

Shenzhen-based Zhang can now look forward to competing in next year’s Volvo China Open, and joins an illustrious group of former champions to have won the same coveted prize.

Zhang was never down in his final match against Chen, and the 16-year-old found himself 2 up at the turn. He then won the 13th and 14th holes to go 4 up with four to play and closed out the match on the 15th.

Chen, 17, gifted several holes to Zhang in the final with uncharacteristic poor chipping. Both players know each other’s game, as both are members of the national golf team. Not only that but they share a room in the same dormitory in Shenzhen.

“I changed my swing earlier this year and sometimes it feels like I’ve forgotten how to play golf,” said Zhang. “I had a hard time adjusting to the new swing so to win the title this week is simply amazing.

“Lots of people have encouraged me to stick with the new swing, including some of my opponents parents.”

Du Mo-han, 14, lost the first hole to Cai Dan-lin, but then won four holes by the halfway point to turn 3 up. Amazingly the talented player from Beijing failed to win another hole until the par-five 18th, at which point she was 1 down after Cai had fought back to all square after 15 holes and then went one up when she won the 17th.

“I was very relieved to get through today’s match and I’m now looking forward to playing in the Volvo China Open Pro-am, as it will give me the opportunity to learn some tips from a tournament pro,” said Du.

“I found myself in some difficult situations today so it would be good to see how a pro handles the same sort of issues. Apart from that I was quite nervous towards the end of the round.”

Cai, 13, was visibly upset when she lost the game on the 21st hole after driving her ball into a hazard and was forced to take a penalty drop.

“My father had a dream last week that I would finish second in this competition, so it would seem that his dream came true,” Cai said.

“It would have been a big bonus to be crowned champion, but it’s also OK to be the runner up in such an important event as the Volvo China Junior Match Play Championship.

(2016-10-05)

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