(Reuters) - 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.
Ye’s two round two-under-par total of 142 at the Western China qualifier earned him a spot at the May 2-5 European and OneAsia 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.
The amateur who lives in the industrial city of Donggaun in Guangdong province and is a member of the local Hillview Golf Club had his father caddying for him as he belied his age and lack of experience to claim one of the three places on offer.
After shooting an opening four-under 68 on Tuesday, 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.
Eighteen-year-old Li Xinyang and Jin Da Xing 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.
Reporting by Patrick Johnston in Singapore, editing by Amlan Chakraborty