Twelve-year-old Ye Wocheng became the youngest golfer to qualify for a European Tour event when the Chinese schoolboy survived a late wobble to grab a place at the Volvo China Open on Wednesday (March 20th).
Ye's two round two-under-par total of 142 at the Western China qualifier earned him a spot at the May 2nd-5th European and One Asia Tour event and his participation will see him better the mark of his compatriot Guan Tianlang, who competed last year as a 13-year-old.
After shooting an opening four-under 68 on Tuesday (March 19th), Ye raced to the turn in his second round, leading the field on seven-under after four birdies on Wednesday, but the pressure began to tell on a tumultuous back nine.
Shots were dropped at the 11th and 14th before he appeared to settle down with a birdie two at the 15th only to rack up a horror eight at the par five 16th.
His opening 27 holes had, however, provided an ample cushion and he could even afford to drop another shot on the last hole and claim the third and final place with two shots to spare.
Ye said the secret behind his victory was his putting.
"Putting is the key," he said. "I am not very confident with my approach shots from the fairway onto the green, but I can always putt the ball into the hole. The key to my wins is putting."
Eighteen-year-old Li Xinyang and Jin Daxing finished joint first on five-under 139 at the Wolong Valley Country Club with no other player finishing under par.
The 19th edition of the Volvo China Open will take place at the Tianjin Binhai Lake Golf Club in north-east China.
Presented by Adam Justice