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CLPGA Tour's Chongqing debut a battle between young and old

(Xinhua)

08:32, October 12, 2012

CHONGQING, China, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Coming off her first victory in three years at last month's Changde Championship, Yang Hongmei, the "elder sister" of the China LPGA Tour at 36, says she still has the game to challenge the many good young players coming up.

Speaking during her practice round Thursday ahead of the start of the RMB500,000 Chengtou Ancheng Cup Chongqing Challenge, the Sichuan native said she's delighted to see the abundance of top young talent coming up in her wake.

Last month, 16-year-old Lin Xinyu became the youngest player to win on the CLPGA Tour when she captured the PH Fortune Plaza Tianjin Plaza.

"It's inevitable a new generation will come up and stand out on the Tour. If they didn't I would be surprised because China golf has progressed a lot over last few years. New blood is good for the tour," said Yang, a five-time winner on the old Orient Master Tour who grew up about a two hour drive away from Chongqing.

"You can't be an evergreen forever and stay on top. Things happen in the course of nature, but I will never give up because golf is something I love. This is my job and I always try my best."

One of the promising youngsters holding a hot hand coming into Chongqing is Shi Yuting. The 14-year-old national team player posted two consecutive wins in amateur events in September and was fourth at last year's Hyundai China Women's Open.

"My putting wasn't great earlier this year, but I changed my grip and it was much better entering the Nanshan Amateur Championship where I took the trophy. Then I won Changyang Amateur Champions," she said.

The Shanghai native noted the strategy for the 6,096-yard Chongqing Poly Golf Club South Course this week is all about position and accuracy. With the central Chinese city being hit with abundant rain over the past two months the balls are stopping quickly on the soft fairways with little roll.

"You feel like you're playing a 6,400-yard golf course because the fairways are wet and soft without rolls. The difficult point is those sloping greens. It's hard to read putt lines."


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