Baby steps for nation in its golf infancy

Updated: 2014-11-15 06:48

By Associated Press in Shanghai(China Daily)

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Baby steps for nation in its golf infancy

Wu Ashun of China watches his tee shot on the fourth hole during the second round of the British Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, northern England, July 18, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

Still an infant

Zhang Lianwei was the first Chinese player to win on the European Tour in 2003 when he beat Ernie Els by one shot in the Singapore Masters. He was the inspiration for Liang Wenchong, who shot 64 in the third round at Whistling Straits and tied for eighth at the 2010 PGA Championship.

Wu Ashun has qualified for the British Open the past two years. Wu wonders how much easier it would have been had the PGA Tour China been around earlier.

"It would help me develop my career better,"he said."It's very lucky for the Chinese players. They will benefit from the tour. They can stay in China to play tournaments but it's a passage to the PGA Tour."

Finchem recalls the World Cup going to China in 1995 and a gallery that pressed against the ropes without truly understanding what it was seeing. The fans are have become more sophisticated each year and some of the Chinese players had the largest galleries behind only the likes of Scott, Rickie Fowler and HSBC winner Bubba Watson.

"It's early days since the start of the century that we started coming here,"Scott said."Fifteen years isn't that long to build world-class players. Maybe we're five years away from seeing really great players."