CHEN, HE AND WANG TAKE THREE FINAL QUALIFYING SPOTS FOR BEIJING

Chen Chang-ping held on to his nerve and his overnight lead to claim the outright first place in the Volvo China Open Kunming Jialize Qualifying event today, and will now be joined in Beijing next month by He Shao-cai and Wang Xu.

Chen fired a second round score of 71 while He carded a 70 and Wang a level-par 72. Wang, however, took the third spot after a nail-biting two-hole play off after Zhu Song - while sitting comfortably in the second qualifying spot following a birdie on the par-four 16th, self destructed with a triple bogey eight on the par-five 18th.

Yunnan-born Chen, 33, who majored in basketball in university, switched to golf in 2009 when it was clear he was too short to compete with the traditionally lofty basketball players. It was clearly a good choice to make.

Chen said that he lived in Yunnan for 20 years before moving away and settled in Chongqing, and commented that he prefers the weather conditions in Yunnan where it’s possible to play golf in all four seasons.

“I think I’m lucky to be able to qualify for the Volvo China Open in my home province,” said Chen, who has two daughters aged five and two.

“I have two tournaments to play before the Volvo Open so I hope my good form continues all the way to Beijing.

“Golf is a sport that toughens my mind and brings me inner peace to tolerate the unfair things that occur in daily life, which is why I enjoy playing.”

Kunming-born He, 36, has played regularly in the Volvo China Open qualifiers before so was very calm and business-like in his approach to today’s final round, and he took few chances over the demanding Phil Mickelson-designed golf course.

Feeding of his strengths as a former wrestler, He traded shot for shot with playing partner Chen, and for most of the round there was little more than one shot separating them, although it did not come down to a match play situation.

“I have very deep feelings for this tournament because I have played in the Volvo China Open seven times before,” said He, who has now won through from the qualifying rounds an impressive five times.

“I very much hope to progress to the weekend this time in Beijing as previously I have not managed to make the cut. My biggest challenge at Topwin will be with the driver as the course is very long and obviously favours the longer hitters.”

Wang Xu has also made something of a career out of the Volvo China Open Qualifying system and has competed no less than 21 times. This is the third time the 35-year-old has managed to qualify but he did it the hard way by winning through after a two-hole play off.

“I’m delighted to qualify this time as the Volvo China Open is once again taking place in my hometown of Beijing,” said Wang.

“I am very familiar with the Topwin course and so I hope to do better than on my previous qualifications and make the cut in front of supportive galleries.

“Interestingly I’ve been aware of more teenagers and amateurs competing in the Volvo China Open Qualifiers, a fact which makes me very optimistic about the future of golf in China.

“Actually I gave up the opportunity to play in another tournament this week as I very much wanted to play once again in my National Open once again, so I have successfully accomplished my mission.”

With the conclusion of the Kunming Jialize Qualifying, all four of this year’s Volvo China Open Qualifying events have been completed. A total of 12 qualifiers have won their place in the 24th Volvo China Open which will be played at Beijing Topwin Golf and Country Club next month. They are: Lien Lu Sen(TPE),John Michael O'Toole (USA), Blake Snyder (USA), Wang Dongyu, He Zeyu, Ye Jianfeng, Ouyang Zheng, Liu Chun, Chen Peicheng (Amateur), Chen Changping, He Shaocai, Wang Xu.

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