Zhuang Claims Coveted Spot in Volvo China Open

Top seed Zhuang Zhu is tonight celebrating after a convincing three and two victory in the final of the Volvo China Junior Match Play Championship at Golden Mountain Golf Club.

The 17-year-old from Chongqing saw off a determined challenge from Wang Dong-yu, and there was little to separate the pair as they completed the front nine with Zhuang holding a slender one-hole lead. Zhuang’s made a birdie three on the 10th to give himself a two-shot cushion going into the back nine, and then a further birdie on the par-five 14th saw the door closing for Wang.

However the talented player from Shanghai made a birdie three after an approach to just four feet on the 15th but he then missed the green on the 16th hole to make bogey and lose the match three and two.

“I feel a little lucky to have won the title today as all of my matches this week were closer than the scores might suggest,” said Zhuang. “I didn’t sleep all that well last night knowing that I had to come back early this morning to finish my semi-final match, and that I would have to get up at 4:30am to be on the tee on time.

“It still hasn’t sunk in that I have won the title, and that I’ve won place in the Volvo China Open. I’m very much looking forward to playing with European Tour pros next year and I will practice and prepare for it as best I can so that I can play in all four rounds. Right now I’m going to take a couple of days off and I won’t even pick up a golf club. I might go and watch a movie or something similar to unwind after the past few days of intense competition. I’m thinking or turning pro after I turn 18 and I will assess my situation after seeing how well I perform in the Volvo China Open, so it will be an important event for me in more ways than one.”

Ji Yi-fan took the Girl’s A group title one up in a very tight match against Lin Jia-xin. The 15-year-old from Henan province lost the opening hole to a birdie three but rallied back strongly to turn at two up. She also won the 14th with a par and looked set to close out the match but Guangdong-based Lin made birdies on the 16th and 17th to lie just one down with one to play.

Ji played the par-five 18th conservatively to make a comfortable par and to win the match one up and also the coveted title. “It was a tough game today so I’m glad I came through to win,” said Ji. “I’m more comfortable playing stroke-play golf as it’s less nerve wracking than match play where one hole can change the game completely. Winning this title has given me so much confidence to keep working hard on my game and improving my technique. I hope to eventually turn pro, so playing and winning in high-level events such as this is exactly the experience I need to succeed.”

Cheng Xi-rong won the Boy’s B title two up over Chen Pei-cheng, while Yin Ruo-ning won the Girl’s B group title by the same score over Yang Man-Li-xian.



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