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Lin ready for Shanghai Classic after near miss

Updated: 2012-06-04 23:12
( Xinhua)

SHANGHAI - Lin Xiyue, one of the many promising young Chinese golf talents, is back on home soil after a near miss at the US Women's Open sectional qualifying last month.

Speaking after her practice round Monday in preparation for the start of the 500,000 RMB Orient Shanghai Classic starting Thursday, the 16-year-old national team member expressed her disappointment of not getting in the field for next month's Open.

But there's still a slim chance for the Guangdong native to be in the US Women's Open field when the tournament tees off July 5 in Wisconsin.

After shooting back-to-back rounds of 73 at Industry Hills outside of Los Angeles on May 29, Lin found herself in a playoff and secured herself a place as a second alternate for the Major. It was familiar territory for the teen as last year she was a first alternate for the Open where she got into the tournament, only to shoot 72-81 and miss the cut in Colorado.

"You know, I can be 70 percent to 80 percent sure that I am able to play US Women Open as the first alternate, but as the second alternate, I don't know, I have no idea," she said.

"Actually, I thought I could make it in 36 holes. I was one-under entering the last nine, but I shot four over at the back nine, including three bogeys over the last four holes."

Lin is returning to the Orient Shanghai Classic, the second leg of the China LPGA Tour season, after a year's absence.

"I have played the Shanghai Classic. In fact, I made my CLPGA debut here in 2008 and played the next year. Last year, I was absent because I was preparing for US Women's Open," she said.

"I don't remember my score out there. I think that I shot many big numbers. Long hitters are not at an advantage here (at the Orient (Shanghai) Sports and Country Club) because you must be accurate to be in contention out there. I wouldn't say it is tough for me, I just haven't found the best way to deal with its challenges."

Under the tutelage of Scottish golf pro Michael Dickie, one of the China National Team coaches, Lin has revamped her swing over the winter and she now feels the results are starting to show.

"At last year's China Ladies Open in December, I felt my old swing was behind the times. I spent four to five months changing my grip with coach Michael. My swing plane also changed with the grip and it's totally different from the last year," she said.

"When I played the World Ladies Championship in Mission Hills Haikou in March, I was inconsistent. I could have shot a lower score, but sometimes I couldn't avoid big numbers. Now it is coming together and I can say it's beginning to pay off."

Other top Chinese players in the field for this week's Orient Shanghai Classic include Lu Yuexia, winner of last month's Beijing Pearl Challenge, and veterans Zhang Na, Tian Hong, Pan Yanhong, Lin Xiyu and Yan Jing.

The Orient (Shanghai) Sports and Country Club is a par-72, 6,342-yard layout, one of 15 clubs in the Orient Golf chain.