Season finale for amateur golf tour tees off

Updated: 2011-09-21 07:52

By Wu Ying and Chen Xiangfeng (China Daily)

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BEIJING - China's most promising golfers will slug it out in the season-ending showdown of the China Amateur Golf Futures Tour (GFT), which will tee off at Genzon Golf Club in Shenzhen and run from Wednesday to Friday.

This year's season finale will see 117 young golfers - 87 male players and 30 females - step on the course to swing off for the national championship and possibly a bright future in the game.

The GFT is in its third edition and features five tournaments as well as the upcoming national final. Since its debut in 2009, the GFT has enjoyed smooth development with an increasing number of participants. Each stage has boasted an average of 140 entrants, with the Beijing leg at 162, a tour record.

For the first time, the 2011 tour introduced a cut for women's events, making the tour more competitive.

"We are progressing towards a higher level and more professionally organized tour," said Wu Wen, deputy secretary of the organizing committee.

Spectators can expect some fine performances from the budding stars.

Wang Qianyue, who has been playing the game for only three years, has already claimed two championships at the youth level this year and is a potential contender.

The 16-year-old girl has dreams of competing on the prestigious US LPGA circuit.

"The GFT is an important bridge in setting up systematic golf competitions in China. We hope more and more children and juniors grow up in the GFT, compete in national amateur competitions and then challenge to make the pro tours," Wu said.

The GFT has already made its mark as 25 amateur players from the tour have gained professional tour qualification thanks to experiences drawn from the tough competitions over the past two years. The newly released roster of the national team also includes 15 golfers who have played on the GFT.

"If we want to have a Chinese Tiger Woods, we have to work harder at the grassroots level. The GFT is a very good start," said Zhang Xiaoning, vice-president of the Chinese Golf Association.

China Daily