YE, JIN AND ZHUANG BOOK PLACES IN VOLVO CHINA OPEN

Chengdu, Suchuan Province, 15 March: Ye Jian-feng fired a bogey-free round of 69 to take the top spot in the BRC Grand-Hill Qualifying today.

Guangdong-born Feng was in total control of his game, and never looked as though he wouldn’t qualify for next month’s Volvo China Open in Beijing.

The 25-year-old hammered his drives some 50 yards beyond his opponents’ tee shots and left himself short iron approach shots to many of the par fours at Grand Hill Golf Club in Chengdu.

“I found four bunkers today but made birdie from two of them and par from the other two so that was very satisfying today,” said Ye.

“The most satisfying hole was the par-four 16th where I found the left fairway bunker off the tee, but I then hit my second shot to three feet of the flag for birdie.

“That gave me confidence for the final two holes, and I knew that if I didn’t make a mess of those I would qualify for Beijing.

“I hit most of the fairways today, but my iron play and putting were not as good as yesterday, so I will be practicing those aspects of my game over the next couple of weeks.”

Ye qualified in 2007 at Beijing CBD Golf Club and again last year at Nansha Golf Club when the qualifying event had to be reduced to one round due to bad weather. He also qualified in 2008 by winning the Volvo China Junior Match Play Championship in 2007.

Overnight leader Jin Da-xing said he felt more stress today, and commented that it was quite a struggle to keep the ball in play.

Jin maintained his lead early in the round and then extended it with a birdie on the par-five fifth hole. However he then gave shots back to the chasing pack on the eighth and ninth holes with consecutive bogeys.

“I really didn’t play well today – I struggled the whole way round,” said Jin. “I bogeyed the 15th and then found a fairway bunker with my drive on 16, but I made a three yard putt for par there, which settled my nerves.

“There was a leaderboard on that hole so I knew I was still in one of the three qualifying positions up to that point – I knew what I needed to do on the final two holes to get the job done.”

Jin added that there are no further events before the Volvo China Open so he will go to Hainan to practice in warmer weather.

“I plan to focus on my short game as I really want to make the cut in Beijing – it’s a goal I plan to reach,” Jin said.

Chongqing-based amateur Zhuang Zhu looked like playing only a supporting role as he teed off in the first group from the 10th tee at 8am after a two over par round of 74 yesterday.

However the 18-year-old showed experience well beyond his tender years by holing five birdie putts in a best-of-the-day round of 68 to take the third qualifying spot on two under par.

“I feel fantastic having qualified for my second Volvo China Open,” Zhuang said. “I played well today and was quite relaxed. I was more aggressive than yesterday and it obviously paid off with such a good score.

“Having played at Topwin Golf and Country Club last year I now know which parts of my game to work on in the next couple of weeks before I head to Beijing.”
 

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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