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Veteran Wu leads after round one at Volvo China Open Qualifying

Veteran Wu leads after round one at Volvo China Open Qualifying

Veteran Chinese pro Wu Hongfu led the home charge on the first day of the Volvo China Open Qualifying at Hidden Grace Golf Club yesterday with a commendable four under-par score of 68.


Wu revealed that he changed to a shorter putter before starting this event, which precedes the US$2.25 million Volvo China Open taking place in two weeks’ time, once again as part of the DP World Tour.

“I played the same tee to green this week as I did last week but I just made more putts today,” said a delighted Wu. “I had a fantastic start and made a 20-foot downhill birdie putt at the first hole. I had another great birdie from 30 feet at the tenth.

“I’m an old man of nearly 50 so I need to maintain energy for the next round, but I’m hungry for a spot in the tournament. The Volvo China Open is our National Championship, and every Chinese player wants to play in it, especially now the DP World Tour has come back to China.”

Nan Chenyou posted a three under-par round of 69 with two birdies and an impressive eagle-three on the par-five 13th. Sadly, he followed that with his only bogey of the day on the following hole.

The 25-year-old from Yanji City in Jilin province is currently at the Shenzhen University.

“I’m satisfied with the way I played today,” said Nan. “I didn’t set a high goal for the round – I had a conservative plan.

“My execution was good today, however, and I will employ the same tactics tomorrow for the final round. I will stick to my plan.

“The Volvo China Open Qualifying is very good for those players who want to compete on the DP World Tour without an exemption.”

Former child prodigy Guan Tianlang recorded a turbulent round of 71 despite posting five birdies, four of which came on the front nine. A double bogey-six on the dogleg-left fourth hole undid much of that good work, and combined with two bogeys against a single birdie on the 11th hole, it was a round of what might have been.

Australia’s George Worrall was the leader among the non-mainland Chinese players after a four-birdie, two-bogey round of 70.

“I played pretty steadily today overall,” said Worrall. “I drove it pretty well for most of the round. I started on 10 and made birdie there from four feet. I then made another birdie on the 14th from eight feet, so I got off to a good start.

“I normally play on the Australian tour, but I have friends in China so I thought it would be good to try to play up here.”

Shinichi Mizuno of Japan posted a one under-par round of 71 despite recording four birdies. A bogey on the challenging fifth hole was compounded by a double bogey on the equally challenging par-four 15th hole.

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