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12-year-old Ye to become youngest on European Tour

Published May 1, 2013 9:10 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Tianjin, China • First the Masters at age 14. Now the European Tour at 12.

When Ye Wo-cheng tees off at the China Open on Thursday, he'll be the youngest in a European Tour event at 12 years, 242 days.

He's following in the footsteps of Guan Tianlang, who made history last month when he became the youngest to compete in the Masters at 14. He also made the cut, despite a one-stroke penalty for slow play in the second round of the Masters.

The Dongguan schoolboy will be 287 days younger than Guan, who was 13 years, 177 days when he competed in last year's China Open.

He's the latest young Chinese player making his way to the world stage at Binhai Lake club, 65 miles south east of Beijing.

Also in the field is 14-year-old Andy Zhang, the youngest to play in the U.S. Open last year. He's joined by Bai Zheng-kai, 15, last year's winner of the China Junior Matchplay Championship, Dou Ze-cheng, 16, and Jim Liu, the youngest winner of the U.S. Junior Amateur in 2010 at 14.

Ye qualified for the China Open with his father on the bag, rallying from a late double bogey to secure the last of four qualifying places.