Chinese golfers dare to dream despite loss in Junior Presidents Cup

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Chinese junior golfers Jin Bo and Xu Andi enjoyed closely fought-wins in their singles matches at the Junior Presidents Cup in Melbourne on Monday, which reinforced their belief that they can reach for the stars.

Both Jin and Xu were members of the International Team, which lost 11-13 to the United States Team in the two-day competition, which is a prelude for the Presidents Cup scheduled to start at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club on Thursday.

Jin secured his second win in the tournament by closing out Benjamin James 3 & 2 in a match he never trailed. Xu, who lost his first two matches on Sunday, bounced back to edge Maxwell Moldovon, the 2019 Rolex Junior Player of the Year, 1-up.

"It's really special to play in an event which mirrors the Presidents Cup. This is the best event by far that I've played in and it's something I'll never forget," the 17-year-old Xu said.

"The first day was pretty tough as our long game wasn't good and we struggled. It's really about learning how to manage on this golf course, your distance control and where to hit it. I made some mistakes which I think can help me in the future as I'll know how to perform better."

Xu will remain in Australia over the next few days to watch the Presidents Cup, a biennial team event run by the PGA Tour that pits the US Team against a rest-of-the-world side, excluding Europe.

”I hope to learn from the guys. It's my hope to get to the PGA Tour someday. If I play well in college, I definitely want to turn professional and getting to the Presidents Cup will be a good goal to aim for," Xu said.

Jin, whose elder brother Jin Cheng won the 2015 Asia Pacific Amateur Championship, was delighted he made amends with a strong win in the singles.

"It's my first time to Australia and it feels so good. The whole set-up in this tournament astonished me. I am glad I won today as I played quite good," Jin noted.

International Team captain Ernie Els (left) of South Africa and Tiger Woods, captain of the United States Team pose with the Presidents Cup trophy in Melbourne on Monday, ahead of the tournament which tees off on Thursday.

On Monday, US Team captain Tiger Woods attempted to draw a line under Patrick Reed's rules violation at the Hero World Challenge over the weekend when his team touched down in Australia for the Presidents Cup.

Reed received a two-stroke penalty for improving his lie in a bunker on Friday during the third round of the tournament hosted by Woods in the Bahamas, where most of the American team prepared for their trip Down Under.

The penalty meant the 2018 Masters champion missed out on a chance to force a playoff against winner Henrik Stenson of Sweden at Albany Golf Club, but perhaps more damaging was the widespread condemnation of his actions.

A jet-lagged Woods was asked about the incident after making the long journey to Australia for the 13th edition of the biennial contest at Royal Melbourne.

"Yes, I have spoken to Pat about it, it's behind us, we're onto this week, we're focused on going against this great International Team here," the 15-time major winner told reporters at the official launch of the tournament.

"As we all know, Pat was penalized and that was it, end of story. Unfortunately, he missed the playoffs by those two shots but we're looking at this week."

Some International players have suggested Reed might get some flak from the crowd over the incident but Woods said he thought the famous Australian love of sport would ensure a great atmosphere for the contest.

World No. 4 Justin Thomas was only a couple of hours into his first trip to Australia and, while excited at the prospect of extending the US's winning streak to eight Presidents Cups, clearly had more immediate priorities.

"It's going to be a great week and we're all looking forward to it, and I'm really looking forward to a great night's sleep tonight," he said.

Woods joined International Team captain Ernie Els of South Africa for a Fan Experience on the banks of the Yarra River. 

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