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Big Hitters – How Young is Too Young in Professional Golf?

By priyanka_boghani 23 September 2013
  Teenage golfing prodigy Yang Zi-hao gave some tips to his potential peers ahead of this year’s Venetian Macau Open as debate continues to swirl about the increasing amount of youngsters playing in professional competitions. The 16-year-old Chinese national Yang Zi-hao and two-time champion Zhang Lian-wei held a golfing master class at the Venetian Hotel, showing children as young as eight the tricks of the trade. Yang received an invitation to play at the Venetian Macau Open after impressing everyone with a recent three-shot win at the Zhang Lian wei Cup International Junior Invitational. The competition, named after the 48-year-old star golfer, was developed 13 years ago to promote golf in China and to provide a platform for aspiring and talented young players to compete at a high level. “I’m really excited about playing at the Venetian Macau Open this year. The amateur circuit is tough but playing professionally is something entirely different,” said Yang. The news of Yang’s selection comes fresh off the back of a recent remark made my former Hong Kong Open champion Miguel Angel Jimenez, who said13-year-old Chinese golf prodigy Ye Wo-cheng should not have been asked to play in this year’s European Masters tournament. "It is nice to see that golf is interesting no matter what the age, but a 13-year-old competing against professionals is a little a bit too young,” the Spaniard told SCMP. “People want to start to do things too early and a 13-year-old should be playing alongside other 13-year-olds and not players averaging 33 years of age." However, young talent is very much at the forefront at this year’s Venetian Macau Open, and according to Zhang Lian-wei, golf provides Chinese youngsters with a great opportunity to see the world. Hendrik Urm, a 17-year-old International Macau School student waiting for his moment with the masters, clearly has big plans ahead. “It’s a great, relaxing sport. The first thing I’m going to ask them is how to keep calm during a big tournament,” he told Localiiz. Yang Zi-hao will join Zhang Lian-wei and defending champion Gaganjeet Bhullar for the Venetian Macau Open between October 17th and 20th. A total of US$800,000 in prize money will be up for grabs. Yang Zi-hao teaches a student how to putt like a pro To read more amazing articles on all things Hong Kong Click here>

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