Seven members of the China National Team – including a saxophone-playing 14-year-old – are among the field for this week’s Luxehills Golf Championship in Chengdu, which marks the resumption of the Omega China Tour following a three-month break for the Olympics.
Teenage prodigy Benny Ye Jianfeng and Chengdu-based Zhang Xinjun are two of the leading lights in China’s amateur national squad, which has been invited by the China Golf Association to compete in the RMB800,000 event as part of their preparation for next month’s World Amateur Team Championships in Australia.
The 16-year-old Ye is making his second appearance on this year’s Omega China Tour, having already made headlines when he finished runner-up to Asian Tour star Lu Wen-teh of Chinese Taipei in the Kunming Championship in April.
“It’s great being here in Chengdu with all my friends from the National Team,” said the energetic Shenzhen-based student, who also finished fourth in last year’s Sofitel Golf Championship in Nanjing.
“I want to get a good score this week. However, I’m not thinking about winning because I haven’t played many tournaments in the last few months. I’ve recently been on school holidays so I mainly just practised,” added Ye, who in June won the Tianjin leg of the China Amateur Tour.
The 21-year-old Zhang, who last year moved to Chengdu, has enjoyed a great year in which he has emerged as one of the country’s most exciting prospects.