Amateur quartet survives qualifying test for Changbaishan Wanda Open Berths
Beijing, June 27: Local amateurs Han Xue, Xueze Dong, Youxin Wang and Zhijie Jiang are set to tee up at the Changbai Shan Wanda Open after making it through the Qualifying round on Tuesday.“I played consistently today, everything went well for me. I was able to recover well even when I made some slight mistakes,” said Xue, who topped the Qualifer after returning with a bogey-free five-under-par 67 highlighted by five birdies.
“I made crucial birdies on 10 and 11. I didn’t hit a really good approach shot but I managed to hole a long putt from eight yards. On the 11, I had a tap-in for birdie after hitting an eight-iron. These two shots gave me a lot of confidence heading into the remaining of the round,” Xue added.
Xue took part in the last edition of the Changbai Shan Wanda Open but failed to make the halfway cut. He finished tied-39th at the Fragrance Hill Beijing International Open last week. “It’s very good to play on the local Tour because it gives me a lot of opportunity to hone my skills.”
“I tend to get affected by bad shots out there and most of the time, it would cause me to make more mistakes after that. Having a good mental game is very important for professional golfers. I must try not to get affected by it. If I can control my mental game, I should be able to play better,” he said.
Dong took second place on his own after marking his card with four birdies against two bogeys for a 70. He said: “This is a very challenging golf course I though. It is far more difficult than the course we played last week. It is very demanding off the tees and the greens are very undulating. The grass seems different from what I practice on so I am not very used to it.”
Dong, however, took advantage of his pinpoint approach shots to give himself opportunities for birdies. “I managed to hit it close for birdies on the first, fifth and 11th holes. The longest putt is only about five yards.”
Dong also credited ‘lady luck’ for his commendable round. “I was very lucky on the 12. I drove it into the trees off the tee, hit it way left trying to save the ball but the ball went through a small opening and I managed to make my last birdie of the day there. I was really lucky.”
Wang and Jiang signed for matching 73s to take third place. “I came here to practice straightaway after my flight landed. I slept early and had a good rest so I was able to play it to my best capabilities today,” said Wang, who traded one birdie against two bogeys.
“This course is quite demanding. You need to hit good tee shots to play well here. I managed to hit good enough to make the cut today. Tee shots will be the key to play well here. I never make any mistakes with my driver today,” said Wang, who will be making his debut appearance in a professional tournament this week.
Wang admitted he felt the nerves standing on the tee today, saying it is totally different from what it is like playing in amateur tournaments.
Jiang returned with a round of two birdies against three bogeys to match the efforts of Wang. “I played pretty solid overall although I three-putted on one hole today. Hopefully I can continue this good form when the tournament starts proper.”