The elite group of amateurs being prepared to represent China at
the Doha Asian Games, are to be given another chance to test
themselves against their countries top professionals. After their
success at the Omega China Tour-Shanghai Leg at the start of this
month, eight members of the China national team have been entered
for the next week's Kunming Leg.
In Shanghai four of the six China team players made the cut,
with 28-year-old Fan Zhipeng stunning everyone by challenging all
week before eventually finishing fifth; results that the China Golf
Association's Deputy Secretary General Li Yong described as
"I want them to play tournaments as training, and train as if
they're playing in real tournaments. I believe there will be more
surprises in the Kunming Leg," said Li.
For next week's tournament at the Kunming Country Golf Club in
Yunnan province the six players have been augmented by arguably two
of their strongest members, Alex Wu Ashun and Wu Kangchun.
21-year-old Alex Wu has had two top 10 finishes on the Omega
China Tour this year, while Wu Kangchun has already won in Kunming
in 2006 on the CITIC Forward China Amateur Tour. With those added
to the line-up for Kunming their team manager is confident that the
team can shine again.
" I think they will play well in the Kunming Leg, I'm even quite
confident about them finishing in the top 10, because compare to
the pros, they have more help and support" said the China team
manager Jason Sung Ming-feng.
"The pros are all individuals, they can only judge their game
from their own experiences so, many times they don't know what they
have done wrong. I think that's the biggest problem for the Chinese
players. Everyone has a beautiful swing and can hit long drives,
but beautiful swings and long drives don't win you tournaments. The
key is to know what strategy you should take on a certain course
and in certain situations. I see Chinese players always being
overly aggressive, attacking too much when it's not really
The national team squad, which also includes 14-year-old Benny
Je Jianfeng, 20-year-old James Yang Wenzhang, 22-year-old John Zhou
Jun, 24-year-old David Wei Wei and 29-year-old Tony Tang Wei, have
all been drilled in strategy and psychology during an intensive
2-month training camp at the Omega China Tour's Shandong Leg venue
Tiger Beach Golf Links, and Jason Sung believes that showed in
their mature displays in Shanghai.
"They've learned course management. They've learned to judge
when should they be aggressive and when should they play safe, also
reading the greens and studying the pin positions," Sung said.
Those skills will be needed again on the mountainous Kunming
course, a tree-lined 6,884-yard track that will test the patience
of the players with its numerous dog-legs.
"You can leave your driver in the locker room," smiled Kunming
professional Chen Jian, whose 20 th place in the Shanghai Leg was
his best result on the Omega China Tour.
"When I practice I only use driver for two holes. It's not a
long course, but it's an interesting mountain course that tests
your skill for playing blind shots."
Once again the national team squad are likely to find themselves
grouped with some of the Omega China Tour's elite players in a
field of 92, which includes Order of Merit leader and Shanghai Leg
winner Zhang Lianwei and last year's winner Li Chao.
" I don't think they have much pressure when playing with these
leading Chinese pros because nobody will be surprised to see them
lose, in fact, I think it's Zhang Lianwei and Li Chao who are under
big pressure when playing with these guys," said Jason Sung
"In the training camp, we gave our players some psychological
training; there was a psychologist helping them in how to handle
pressure and boost their confidence. I think they have gained a lot
from it," he added.
(omegachinatour.com September 14, 2006)