HONG KONG, 30 October 2017, (HK Golfer News Wire) - Yue, 17, shot a two-over-par 72 at The Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club to finish alone in sixth place and was among four Hong Kong players to qualify for the 72-hole tournament starting on Thursday.
Fellow amateurs Cameron Lam and Terrence Ng both shot 74 to tie for 11th, while Steven Lam carded a 75 and was among two players in a share of 14th to progress via a countback.
Yue, who qualified for last year’s UBS Hong Kong Open but narrowly missed out this year, was 16 when he qualified for the inaugural Clearwater Bay Open via an eight-way playoff for the final four qualifying spots.
The Shanghai-based schoolboy is looking to build on the experience gained last November when he played with Korean pro Kookhyan Kim and Chinese amateur Yixin Xing, shooting rounds of 77 and 71 to miss the cut by four.
“I feel really excited. I’ve been looking forward to this tournament all year because this is the only pro event I’ll play this year. I really like playing in the pro tournaments – the atmosphere, the environment we’re in – and just learn and gain experience,” said Yue, who flew back to Shanghai on Monday night to attend school for two days and will return on Wednesday.
“The first thing I noticed when I played last year was the pace of play, especially the pro. He was pretty experienced on tour and really fast paced. I was a little uncomfortable with the speed, but I learned a lot from how the pros play. Even though I didn’t do too well, it was really good exposure for me.”
Chinese Taipei teenager Lawrence Ting led the scoring with a 69, one ahead of England’s Mathew Webb, while Canada’s Richard Jung and Americans Ryann Ree and Craig Crandall shot 71 to share third place.
Ting, who played in the European Tour’s Volvo China Open in 2015 when he was 15, had to recover from a tough start in windy conditions, starting bogey, bogey and double bogey to lie 4-over after three holes. However, his short game and experience of the course helped him recover and post the best score of the day.
“I actually struggled on the front nine, especially the first three holes. After that, I started to be more stable. My short game was really working today and saved a lot of scores,” said Ting who will making his second appearance in a PGA TOUR-China event, having played in last November’s Putian Open in Fujian province.
“I think I’ve played three amateur tournaments at Clearwater Bay so I’ve probably played 12 rounds here in total. I’ve played a few pro events at home in Chinese Taipei and also in Australia, at the Victoria Open.”
Recently crowned Asia-Pacific Amateur champion Yuxin Lin of China and his compatriot Cheng Jin, who won the 2015 Asia-Pacific Amateur at Clearwater Bay, are other notable amateurs in the field.