Guan Tianlang, who? The 14-year-old became the youngest to compete in the Masters and he’s made two cuts in a row, but forget Guan, who was the youngest to play in a sanctioned Tour event at 13 in the 2012 China Open. Enter: Ye Wocheng, the 12-year-old earned a spot in this year’s China Open, a European Tour event, via the qualifier, which, as you know, is no easy feat.
Ye, who is from Dongguan, will be 287 days younger than Guan was when he competed in last year’s China Open, according to the AP.
“Ye’s ability to listen and respond is way above the norm,” his coach, Englishman David Watson, told the AP. “At the moment, I don’t believe that Ye has too many rivals of the same age. He often wins in higher age groups, but at the same time, I know it is dangerous to speculate and we must realize he is just a 12-year-old boy.”
South African Branden Grace, the defending champion, looks forward to seeing Ye play this week.
“It’s just amazing because when I look back, I only started playing golf when I was 11,” Grace said, via the AP. “I don’t want even know what handicap I had when I was 12.
“I spoke to his coach yesterday just to learn a bit of his background, but he tells me he just seems to win all the junior events around at the moment. He’s also apparently a long hitter and looking at him, he’s quite a big kid for 12.”
Let’s see that birth certificate! Just kidding. Kind of. I see what Grace means, though. Ye is indeed rather mature looking for a 12 year old.
Here’s a recent video of Ye that was recently uploaded by his coach.
Does he make the cut? After I predicted that Guan wouldn’t break 80 at the Masters, I’m going to steer clear of making any bold statements like that. We’ll see how he does! Either way, it’s already quite impressive he got into the event via the qualifier.
(Photo via Reuters)