Sports / Golf

Jin, 17, heads for Masters as Asia amateur cut short

By Agencies in Hong Kong (China Daily) Updated: 2015-10-05 08:34

Third-round leader Jin Cheng won a place at the US Masters when a typhoon meant the cancellation of the final round of Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Hong Kong on Sunday.

The 17-year-old Chinese No 1 ranked amateur, who shot a course record eight-under 62 in the first round, won the title by one stroke as Typhoon Mujigae tore across the southwest China coast bringing gale-force winds, electrical storms and torrential rain to the exposed Clearwater Bay layout.

His 54-hole total of 11-under par 199 gave him a one-shot victory over the Australian pair of Ryan Ruffels and Cameron Davis.

"This win just came so fast and so sudden," Jin said. "I was ready for the round today and unfortunately the weather didn't work out. Going there (the Masters) next year is just amazing for me. I'm so excited and looking forward to it. This win should give me a lot of confidence."

Jin, 17, heads for Masters as Asia amateur cut short

It was an unsatisfactory end to a scintillating tournament that had seen Jin play a sublime chip to set up a birdie four at the 18th hole on Saturday - a shot that proved to be the winning blow.

With a typhoon warning signal raised, organizers had already moved Sunday's tee times forward in an attempt to beat the weather but only nine groups had teed off when play was halted at 7:41 am local time.

With the weather unrelenting and no provision to extend the event into Monday, Jin was declared the champion shortly before midday.

"It is extremely disappointing that we are not able to complete the final round," said David Cherry, chairman of the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation.

"While weather regrettably shortened the event, we have identified a very worthy and talented champion in Jin Cheng," said Billy Payne, chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters tournament.

Sunday's washout scuppered the hopes of defending champion Antonio Murdaca of Australia, who had got into contention for a repeat visit to Augusta with a scintillating six-under 64 in blustery conditions on Saturday to lie just four strokes behind Jin.

Jin will follow in the footsteps of fellow Chinese Guan Tianlang, who won the Asia-Pacific amateur title in 2012 and became the youngest player in Masters history when playing at Augusta in 2013 aged just 14 years and five months.

Jin and runners-up Davis and Ruffels also received an exemption into the final qualifying round for the 2016 British Open at Royal Troon.

(China Daily 10/05/2015 page11)

Most Popular
What's Hot