Thursday, 24 March 2016
The six qualifiers for the Shenzhen International - from left, Han Ren, She Zihan, Hsieh Chih-hsien, Wolmer Murillo, Kim Eui-in, Wu Hongfu  (European Tour)
The six qualifiers for the Shenzhen International - from left, Han Ren, She Zihan, Hsieh Chih-hsien, Wolmer Murillo, Kim Eui-in, Wu Hongfu (European Tour)

Wolmer Murillo of Venezuela will join the likes of Bubba Watson and Miguel Angel Jiménez at next month's Shenzhen International after leading the way at open qualifying for the US$2.8 million European Tour event.

Murillo fired a four-under-par 68 at the weather-effected tournament, held at Shenzhen Genzon Golf Club, to finish top of a crowded leader board.

South Korean amateur Kim Euiin and Chinese Taipei's Hsieh Chi-hsien finished a stroke back after matching 69s to also seal their berths, while She Zhihan (71), Han Ren (72) and Wu Hongfu (73) finished as the highest-placed Chinese players not already exempt to also progress. 

"I'm very happy – I love playing in China so to qualify for one of the biggest events in the country is a privilege," said Murillo, who made six birdies during his round. "I'm very grateful for the support I received as I am far from home. It's been a great time and I look forward to returning here to Genzon for the tournament."

Murillo was joined at four-under by rising Chinese star Dou Zecheng, who was already exempt, and the pair each took away RMB50, 000 thanks to their stellar play.

"The rainy conditions were quite tough but it's good to come here and prepare for the Shenzhen International," said 19-year-old Dou, who enjoyed a glittering amateur career before turning professional. "Like all the Chinese national players I know the course well, as we have been training at the Genzon Golf Club, so we have a little bit of an advantage over the foreign players.

"I missed the cut at the Shenzhen International last year, so my goal next month is to improve on that."

Keith Williams, the General Manager at Shenzhen Genzon Golf Club, added: "I would like to extend my congratulations to our six qualifiers, who each showed great perseverance in difficult conditions over the past two days. This year's Shenzhen International promises to be an extra special week for both players and spectators alike. The strength of the field is second to none and we will be launching a number of initiatives that have been designed to promote golf in the local community. 

"It is the Club's belief that golf can be a game for everyone – and to that end, our initiatives will focus on the qualities that make it unique among sports, which includes respect, integrity and the importance of etiquette."

The Shenzhen International, which is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the China Golf Association, was inaugurated in 2015. That first edition was won by Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat following a thrilling play-off with Li Hao Tong. Li, who is hoping to represent China at the Olympic Games this summer, has confirmed his participation in the event alongside World No. 4 Watson and Spanish legend Jiménez. 

Former HSBC Champions winner David Howell of England, 2007 World Cup winner Marc Warren of Scotland and Spain's Pablo Larrazábal, winner of the 2015 BMW International Open, have also committed themselves to the Shenzhen International. 

 

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1LEE, SoominKOR18-16
T2LUITEN, JoostNED18-14
T2STONE, BrandonRSA18-14
T4HEND, ScottAUS18-13
T4SLATTERY, LeeENG18-13
T4LEVY, AlexanderFRA18-13

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