New season poised to welcome fresh and exciting talents

2017-06-20

Beijing, June 20: It’s the start of another brand new season on the China Tour.

For the past three years, the Tour has unearth several emerging talents from China.One of the most notable names is Li Haotong who created history by becoming the first Chinese golfer to make the cut at the US Open last week.Doug Zecheng and Zhang Xinjun also got the opportunity to play on the web.com Tour through their rankings on the money list.

While the Tour has witnessed the emergence of several promising local talents, it has also welcomed the arrival of many players of proven qualities.This begs the question. Who’s next after Li Haotong, Zhang Xinjun and Dou Zecheng? For that, let’s look back at the past records.

Li topped the money list and won the Order of Merit title in 2014 where he had eight top-10s including three victories.Dou, on the other hand, also secured the Order of Merit title in 2016 with eight top-10s that included four wins.As for Zhang, he enjoyed six top-10s including one win in eight starts in 2014. He had four and six top-10s in 2015 and 2016 respectively. He has finished inside the top-five on the money list for the three successive years, starting from 2014.

Li, Zhang and Duo have demonstrated the consistency and abilities to compete and progress to the next level in their game. But for now, let’s look ahead at four other potential players poised to create headlines as the new season gets underway.

Player

Date of Birth

Tour victories

2016 results

2017 Position (current)

Missed Cut

11-20

Top-10

Zhang Huilin

1989/8/2

2

1

1

6

T12

Yi Cao

1990/9/10

0

1

1

4

-

Chen Zihao

1996/9/16

0

1

3

3

MC

Jason Hak

1994/1/22

0

2

2

3

T47

The outlook may not be that optimistic if one compares their track records against the likes of Li, Duo and Zhang.However, if one were to take into consideration their age and youthful potential, they could still the rising stars for the future.

Zhang Huilin: As a graduate of the Hunan Golf academy, Zhang was not born with a silver spoon. His humble beginnings have motivated him to make the best use of his golfing talent. He has developed into a better player in the past three years since he made his debut on the Tour. His two Tour victories in 2015 and 2016 have given him the conviction and belief that he has what it takes to become a world-class golfer.

Yi Cao: Playing regularly in Canada, Yi Cao is a promising golfer. His results in the past three years have been consistent. In 2014, Yi Cao did not miss a single cut in all nine events he played in. He enjoyed four top-10s in 2015 and in 2016, he secured four top-10s in seven starts. Yi Cao’s playing opportunities on the Canadian Tour have given him the necessary experience to compete at the higher level. Perhaps this could the time for his breakthrough this year.  

Chen ZihaoHighly regarded among the younger generation of players, the dashing Chen is a consummate professional. He played on the web.com Tour earlier this year to gain more experience. Looking ahead for this season, Chen has to look inwards towards himself, instill more self-belief for his maiden breakthrough.

Jason HakHak will always be remembered for becoming the youngest player to make the cut at a European Tour event in 2008 at the age of 14 years. He also topped the American Junior Golf Association’s rankings. Hak has received much attention since making his debut on the China Tour in 2016. Having no status on Tour and playing through Monday qualifiers, he not only secured three top-10s but was consistently featured in the final groups last year. Hak has the determination and drive to do better and given his youth, he could be the next big name in golf. 

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