Golf stars getting younger: Chinese 12 year-old to make history

Guan Tianlang took part in last year's China Open as a 13 year-old.

Story highlights

  • A 12-year-old Chinese golfer will become youngest European Tour player
  • Ye Wocheng finished third at a qualifier for May's China Open
  • Guan Tianlang will become the youngest player in Masters history
  • The 14 year-old played at last year's China Open

Golf players just keep getting younger.

First there was Guan Tianlang, who at the tender age of 13 became the youngest player to participate in a European Tour event.

But this May, a Chinese 12 year-old will eclipse Guan's record to become the European Tour's youngest ever golfer.

From the city of Dongguan, Ye Wocheng finished two under par at the Western China qualifier to earn one of the three spots on offer for the China Open -- the tournament where Guan made his European Tour debut in April 2012.

Now 14, Guan will become the youngest player to compete in the Masters when he takes to the course at Augusta next month.

Competing as an amateur, Guan finished tied for 150th at last year's China Open event, which was won by South Africa's Branden Grace.

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Ye, whose father caddied for him, shot a four-under-par opening round of 68 on Tuesday to put himself in contention before pulling clear of the field over the front nine on Wednesday.

Four birdies saw him head to the turn on seven under, but Ye collapsed at the par five 16th where he dropped three strokes.

But the 12-year-old had done enough to ensure he finished third on the leaderboard behind joint winners Li Xinyang and Jin Da Xing.

Should Ye do the unthinkable and win the China Open, which will take place at the Binhai Lake Golf Club, he would assume Matteo Manassero's mantel as the youngest ever winner on the European Tour.

Italy's Manassero won the 2010 Castello Masters at the age of 17 years and 188 days.