WANG, HE AND YE SECURE QUALIFICATION FOR VOLVO CHINA OPEN

Seven players are now assured of competing in the RMB 20 million Volvo China Open in April after Wang Dong-yu, He Ze-yu and Ye Jian-feng won through from the Volvo China Open Guangzhou Nansha Qualifying today.

They will now join John Michael O’Toole, Lien Lu-sen and Blake Snyder in the Volvo China Open in April after those three players emerged successful from the International Qualifying at the same Nansha venue last week.

Liu Zehao secured his place in the Volvo China Open by winning the prestigious Volvo China Junior Match Play Championship in Hainan last November.

Shanghai-based Wang, 19, emerged as both the leading amateur and the joint winner of the event after firing a two under-par 69 to end the event on two under 140.

The talented high school student started playing golf at the age of seven and has done well in the amateur ranks in recent years, and stated after the round that he will probably turn pro some time this year.

Wang is very good friends with international qualifier Snyder and revealed that the American had contacted him before the event started and gave him tips on how to effectively play the Nansha course.

“I’ve played in eight Volvo China Open Qualifiers so far and this is my second time to win one of the three places,” said Wang, who also qualified last year in Tianjin.

“I always enjoy the Volvo-sponsored events as everything is organized to such a high standard.

“The Volvo China Open is the biggest event I have participated in and I was both nervous and excited to be playing in such a big event last year.

“This year I hope to be able to enjoy the event even more and I plan to learn as much as I can from more experienced tour players.”

Overnight co-leader He Ze-yu looked to be cruising to victory at the head of the 75-strong field, especially after holing a 15-foot putt for eagle on the par-five ninth.

He then birdied the difficult par-four 10th hole to go to four under-par and seemed to have everything under control.

A bogey on the par-three 12th was followed by another on the 14th and then a disastrous double bogey on the 15th saw him fall back to level par and at that stage out of the three qualifying places.

A 300-yard drive with a three-wood on the par-five 18th was followed by a sublime iron shot to 20 feet of the flag from where he holed the eagle putt that took him back to two under and a share of first place with Wang.

“This is my 10th time to play in Volvo China Open Qualifying,” said Shenzhen-based He, “so I’m very pleased to qualify.

“The Volvo China Open is one of the most influential golf tournaments in China so it’s good to be able to compete by playing in the qualifiers.”

Ye teed off almost an hour before the overnight leaders started their rounds and seemed to have an uphill task to secure one of the three qualifying places.

A two under-par 34 on the front nine was complimented by three under-par 32 on the back nine and included an eagle two on the 15th after the Shenzhen-based player hit a three-iron off the tee and a seven-iron approach that bounced once and disappeared into the cup. His four under-par 66 was the best score of the day.

Ye ended the day tied with She Zi-han, and the pair had to decide the final qualifying place with a play off on the par four 10th.

She’s approach ended 20 feet above the hole while Ye’s short iron shot landed just three feet from the hole from where he made birdie to claim his fourth start in the Volvo China Open via the qualifying system.

“To participate in the Volvo China Open is the dream of all Chinese players,” said Ye, 26. “Four Chinese players have so far lifted the Volvo China Open trophy, and their performance has given me great encouragement to improve my play.

“I look forward to playing in the qualifying events and I do everything that I can to gain one of the three qualifying places available. I am glad that I can continue to be successful as this is the fourth time I’ve played and the fourth time I have qualified.”

GUANGZHOU NANSHA GOLF CLUB, 10 FEBRUARY 2018

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