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China looks to youth to promote golf


09:09, May 08, 2013

BEIJING, May 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinese youth are embracing golf as a pastime and springboard for success as junior golfers from the country make the cut at world-class tournaments.

Guan Tianlang, a 14-year-old boy from Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, made history at this year's Masters Golf Tournament, held in mid-April, as the youngest player to compete in a major championship, with the amateur playing against a host of professional senior stars.

Half a month later, 12-year-old Ye Wocheng from Dongguan of the same province became the youngest player to compete in the Volvo China Open, part of a European golf tour.

Guan and Ye represent a growing community of junior golfers in China, according to Song Yingchun, deputy secretary-general of the China Golf Association (CGA).

The CGA launched the China Junior Golf Program in 2006, aiming to introduce golf to Chinese youngsters through tournaments and training camps.

Yet only 31 kids across the country signed up its first tournament in 2007. The CGA had to scout more kids around Beijing to keep the matches going.

But the program has since caught on. The junior tournament in 2012 attracted more than 800 kids from the Chinese mainland, and the CGA had to ask each participant to play only three out of its nine matches.

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