Tour News

A Star Is Born At Asia Pacific Amateur

(Photo: Asia Pacific Amateur Championship)
Min Woo Lee’s hopes of a 2018 Masters and Open berth disappeared in deep grass right of the driveable par-4 14th at Royal Wellington as a new star of the game emerged with a stunning finish  at the Asia Pacific Amateur Championship.

China's Yuxin Lin, just 17-years-old, produced a breathtaking finsih to the tournament to grab the title from countryman Andy Zhang while Lee slipped to a share of third after his gamble at the 14th failed to pay off.

Four shots behind outright leader and playing partner Andy Zhang of China at the time, Lee tried to reach the green at the 300-metre hole but his tee shot drifted way right into a grassy hazard and was never found.

After a five-minute search Lee trudged back to the tee and, once again selecting the driver, hit his ball pin high left of the green.

A magical up and down followed but the bogey five dropped him five shots behind with four holes to play and out of the reckoning.

His two playing partners, however, staged an enthralling duel over the closing holes at Royal Wellington, the Chinese duo of Andy Zhang and overnight leader Yuxin Lin battling till the very end.

Lin Yuxin becomes third player from China to win Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship. He will now play in @TheMasters and @TheOpen! #AAC2017 pic.twitter.com/dOgGRGaNWt

— AAC_Golf (@AAC_Golf) October 29, 2017

Zhang looked in control through 14 holes with a one-shot lead but stumbled at 15 with an errant tee shot causing a bogey.

All square with three to play, both players made routine pars at the 16 but it was Lin who grabbed the tournament by the throat with a stunning tee shot at the 17th.

The 17-year-old left hander squeezed a 325 metre-drive between trees, over a fairway bunker set at 260 metres and found the narrow entrance to the green to set up the chance at an eagle.

Zhang responded with a conservative iron off the tee and a delightful wedge 10-feet behind the hole but couldn’t capitalise by making the putt.

Lin played his complicated eagle chip with deft touch to set up a birdie and with a one-shot lead heading up the par-5 18th unleashed a tee shot of over 300 metres.

With Zhang finding the green some 80 feet from the flag from30 metres further back down the fairway Lin produced the shot of the week, a 5-iron to within feet of the hole and sealing the win by nailing the eagle putt.

The grandstand finish was a fitting end to the tournament which proved a huge success in its first trip to New Zealand.

Chinese players filled four of the top five spots at the end of 72 holes, Zhang runner-up with Yechan Yuan sharing third-pace with Min Woo Lee.

2015 champion Jin Cheng was fifth alone after a closing 6-under 65, the equal best round of the day alongside Lin.

Shae Wools-Cobb, who led Thursday after a stunning opening 63, shared sixth place at 5-under after a second successive 71 while Harrison Endycott played his best golf of the week with a final round 66 to climb to a share of 10th.

British Amateur runner-up Dylan Perry was next best of the Australians at 1-under for the week and T15, three ahead of Travis Smyth whose 1-under 70 saw him finish T24.

This was likely Smyth’s final event as an amateur, the NT PGA winner now expected to embark on a professional career.


Want video tips delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe to iseekgolf.com newsletters.

iSeekGolf is Australia’s largest golf tee times website.
To book a tee time at an iSeekGolf venue, visit iseekgolf.com/teetimes


More Articles from Rod Morri