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Young golfers flock to Yiyang

(China Daily)
Updated: 2010-08-18 10:26
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YIYANG, Hunan province - Less than a year after the launch of China's Amateur Golf Futures Tour (GFT), a tournament for rising children and teens, the nation has seen an unexpected explosion of passion for the sport.

The number of entrants for the GFT Yiyang event in Hunan province, which tees off on Wednesday, reached the maximum of 120 less than five hours through internet and fax submissions.

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"Frankly speaking, none of us expected to see so many players from the younger generation recognize the new-born tournament and show such huge interests," said Wu Wen, deputy secretary-general of the organizing committee.

Wu said the Yiyang stage is just the sixth event since the tour was launched last year. The series has seen more and more youngsters take part at each event.

"We can see an increase stage after stage. It's a great start for this tournament as well as an encouraging the development of Chinese golf," she said.

Due to the limited capacity of the course, the organizing committee had to reject a large number of applicants and 124 players will take part in the three-day event at the Yiyang Zhishan Lake International Golf Club.

The field includes 91 male and 33 female players. Twenty-seven are under the age of 18

"Sixty-nine of them are the new faces to the GFT," said Wu. "It means we are attracting more and more boys and girls who have never taken part in a competitive event. I hope some of them will become big stars from this platform."

China Daily