Learning curve begins at Clearwater Bay Open for Chinese star Lin Yuxin ahead of next year’s Masters
The 17-year-old struggles on attritional day, but makes the cut along with local hope Jason Hak as James Marchesani, Lee Seung-yun share lead
Up-and-coming Chinese star Lin Yuxin says he needs to learn to be more “patient” as he plots his course towards next year’s Masters and Open Championship.
After earning his spot in two of 2018’s four majors with victory in last week’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, the 17-year-old came crashing back to earth at the Clearwater Bay Open on Friday.
He carded a 10-over-par 80, including triple and quadruple bogeys, on an attritional day that saw most struggle with the nagging breeze.
“I think I need to be more patient when I’m hitting it bad at the beginning,” he said. “It’s still a long way to go, the Masters are in April so there is heaps of time, I’m just focused on my game right now. Basically I want to work on everything, I need to get more consistent.”
While the thought of playing alongside the likes of Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson is still sinking in, Lin said he’s not thinking too far ahead despite what lies in store in 2018.
“I didn’t really expect the opportunities to play with all the good players, but since I’ve already got the invites I’ll definitely take those opportunities,” the laid-back teenager said.
Lin said the efforts of countryman Li Haotong, who came third at this year’s Open Championship, have been huge for golf in China.
“It’s definitely a motivation for me and it’s definitely a motivation for every Chinese player,” he said.
Sitting eight over par after two days, Lin benefited from what was largely mediocre scoring across the board and will feature on the weekend after the cut fell at 15 over.
“Obviously I played pretty badly today, I’m just surprised that I still have a chance to actually play on the weekend,” Lin said.
“I should be able to fix all these problems, I’ve just got a little tired over the last couple of days. But I was striking them well, just a couple of bad holes.”
Fellow amateur Jin Cheng is still well placed despite shooting three over on the second day and sits just one stroke behind leaders James Marchesani of Australia and South Korea’s Lee Seung-yun.
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“It was windier early in the morning but I played decent in the wind and did all right until the wind actually stopped,” said Jin, offering an insight into why so many players battled.
“I’m kind of surprised to be around the leaders although I wasn’t really thinking much about it, I was just trying to play my own game.”
Hong Kong’s Jason Hak Shun-yat is also still in contention despite carding a 72 to move to a total of seven over.
For co-leader Marchesani, rounds of 69 and 68 are the continuation of an impressive season on the PGA Tour of Australasia.
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“It’s been a good year. I’m sitting seventh on the Order of Merit there, so we play this week, have a week off then try and finish big on the last three events in Australia [the NSW Open, Australian Open and Australian PGA],” he said.
“I got off to a pretty solid start in the first six or seven holes when the wind was pretty tough and gusting, so I was quite pleased and then managed to make a couple of birdies on the back nine. I was quite steady all day.”