12-Year-Old Ye Wo-Cheng to Shatter Mark for Youngest Golfer at China Open

Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterMay 1, 2013

Photo Credit: Reuters (via Yahoo! Sports)
Photo Credit: Reuters (via Yahoo! Sports)

Golfers just continue to get younger and younger. 

The Associated Press brings us a report that will severely question your own golf game as a 12-year-old. It seems the young Ye Wo-Cheng is set to tee off Thursday at the China Open, coming in at an age of 12 years, 242 days, the youngest for anyone entering a European Tour event. 

The mark shatters the previous record set by Guan Tianlang, who set the youthful mark last year at the same event at 13 years, 177 days. 

If that name seems familiar, it makes sense. Guan continues to amaze American golf fans, most recently by qualifying for the Zurich Open but most notably by becoming the youngest to make the cut at the Masters this past April. 

Here is a video showing Guan proving to be masterful beyond his years to make the cut in New Orleans. 

As for Ye, he fought the field to qualify for the tournament and was aided by his father, who was serving as caddie for his remarkable son. 

David Watson, an Englishman, sounded off on his pupil who is just the latest Chinese golfer to dazzle with his prodigious efforts while also offering caution to temper expectations:

Ye's ability to listen and respond is way above the norm. At the moment, I don't believe that Ye has too many rivals of the same age. He often wins in higher age groups, but at the same time, I know it is dangerous to speculate and we must realize he is just a 12-year-old boy.

Echoing Watson, it's important to remember this is still just a boy playing a game that can frustrate some of the sport's top professional.

Yahoo! Sports brings us a video to quell any curiosity you might have about his form. They also note the young man, who can no longer play in the U.S. Kids World Championship, took the recent Guangdong Junior Championship by 18 strokes. 

When I was 12, my biggest worries were deciding which TV programs would dominate my after-school afternoons, which is a telling sign of my own stunted maturity.

Last year's China Open Champion, Branden Grace, delivers a scouting report on Ye. 

It's just amazing because when I look back, I only started playing golf when I was 11. I don't want even know what handicap I had when I was 12.

I spoke to his coach yesterday just to learn a bit of his background, but he tells me he just seems to win all the junior events around at the moment. He's also apparently a long hitter and looking at him, he's quite a big kid for 12. 

It seems pertinent to point out Grace is a seemingly ancient 24 years old heading into the Open.  

It's remarkable to think a 12-year-old has the form and calm to play steady golf while also receiving such worldwide attention. 

Now if we can please cease with the incessant decline in golfer's age, because my mind cannot grapple with an 11-year-old making a future cut. 


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