QUALIFIERS WORK HARD IN PLAY OFF AT SHANGHAI TAINMA

Guangdong native She Zi-han claimed his first tournament victory after a final round of 66 saw him win by five shots in the Volvo China Open Shanghai Tianma Qualifying event today.With She electing to forego his place, the three qualifying spots went to Liu Chun, Yang Yi-nong and Li Xin-yang.

The 20-year-old She was imperious in his play over the demanding Tianma Country Club course that found each and every weakness in almost all other players in the field this week.

When I birdied the par-five fifth hole I began to settle down, and then I birdied the next two holes, which put me at four under par,” said She. “I knew I was in a very good position but I didn’t want to look at the leaderboards because I just wanted to concentrate on each hole.

The Volvo China Open is a very good opportunity for Chinese players to step up to a higher stage. My game is obviously good right now, but my psychological state is still maturing, and although I feel comfortable playing in qualifying events I’m not sure how I will handle the bigger stage.

With victory secured She then said that he would forego his qualifying spot as he expected to win through via his China Golf Association ranking.

This made for an interesting climax to the event, as a large group of players finished tied for third place, while Liu Chun sealed second place alone with a final round score of level par.

Liu said that he felt like he was on a roller coaster today, such was his up and down round.

I birdied holes one, six and seven, and although I dropped a shot on the par-four fourth hole I was still feeling very good,” said Liu.

I then holed a 15-foot putt for par on the 12th hole but I found the water with my second shot on the very next hole, and I made a triple bogey there. I felt there was not much hope of qualifying after that, but then I settled down and made par on the par-three 14th.

On the par-five 15th hole I had 262-yards for my second shot and I hit it to six feet of the flag, from where I holed the eagle putt. My heart rate went right up after that, as I looked at the leaderboard and saw that I was back in one of the qualifying places.

The Volvo China Open will be the biggest event I’ve ever played in so I’m thrilled to have qualified. I really hope I play well enough to make the cut at Topwin Golf and Country Club.

Yang Yi-nong has played in nine Volvo China Open qualifying events in the past, and he finally managed to secure a place in his National Open today, although he did it the hard way via a play off.

I was two over par for the round and without a birdie on my card until I got to the 11th hole, and even that putt was from 25 yards,” said Yang.

I made all pars after that, but on the 18th tee my coach told me that I would qualify if I made par on 18, but I didn’t believe him, and so I hit an aggressive tee shot to the island fairway.

Yang then hit his second shot into the lake and ended with a bogey six to find himself in a play off with four other players.

With Huang Wen-yi withdrawing from the play off, Xiao Bo-wen was eliminated after the first extra hole, the par-five 18th, and then Yang secured his place with a birdie on the next.

Li Xin-yang took the final qualifying place just one hole later when he made birdie, while Wang Zi-ting narrowly missed his birdie putt.

So with She electing to forego his place, the three qualifying spots went to Liu Chun, Yang Yi-nong and Li Xin-yang.

The final qualifying event will take place at Tianjin Binhai Forest Golf Club in two weeks time.

--ENDS--

The 23rd staging of the Volvo China Open takes place from April 27th-30th at Topwin Golf and Country Club, Beijing. Volvo was the first western brand to engage with golf in China in 1995, and this will be Volvo's 86th tournament on the European Tour. The prize fund is RMB 20 million. The tournament is organized by the China Golf Association with Volvo Car Event Management as co-organizer and promoter, and is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and OneAsia.

 

 

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