PGA Tour

China No 3 Yuan Yechun going ‘all out’ to secure victory at the Clearwater Bay Open

The big-hitting golfer is making his Hong Kong debut and is determined to do well and secure a place in the top-10 of the PGA Tour Series-China Order of Merit

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 October, 2018, 6:55pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 October, 2018, 11:26pm

Big-hitting Carl Yuan Yechun is determined to crown his first visit to Hong Kong with victory at the season-ending Clearwater Bay Open as the mainlander bids to secure a place in the top-10 of the 2018 PGA Tour Series-China Order of Merit.

Yuan won July’s Qingdao Championship to become only the second amateur champion on the Tour, then started his pro career with a runner-up finish at the Suzhou Open last month, having joined the play-for-pay ranks on August 28 after helping China win a team silver at the Asian Games.

The Dalian-based 21-year-old has since followed up with ties for eighth, third and 24th on the Tour to lie 23rd on the Order of Merit and will be going all-out for the 360,000 yuan winner’s cheque at the Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club, starting on Thursday.

“With five events left, my goal is to finish in the top-25 in the Order of Merit and I achieved that after two events,” said Yuan, who’s seeking to finish in the top-10 of the money list to secure a place in the Final Stage of the Tour Qualifying Tournament.

“As my goal has since changed to getting in the top-10, I’ll probably need a win this week – and I’m confident. My game is in great shape, I like the course and I have a good supporting team with me this week, so I think I have a shot at doing it.”

Callum Tarren, second on the Order of Merit, is virtually assured of a Tour place in 2019, yet is still seeking his first victory on a Tour where he has finished second six times – three times this season – earning him the unwanted title of “Runner-up King”.

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Tarren, who turned 28 last week, was runner-up to James Marchesani at last year’s Clearwater Bay Open, finishing a stroke adrift after the Australian birdied the last hole, and is keen to become the first Englishman to win on the PGA Tour Series-China, especially as he’s the only player who can overhaul Order of Merit leader Charlie Saxon.

“Last year, I just missed out on the last hole to James, so that was a bit disappointing, but I just have to keep getting myself in that position and hopefully I can go one better this year,” said Tarren, whose good friend James Maw, an eight-year touring pro, is now his caddie.

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“I’m just going to go out and try to win the golf tournament and we’ll add up the money at the end of the week and see where we are. I know if I were to win, Charlie would have to have a good finish, so I’m just concentrating on my game. I know Charlie is just as hungry to win his fifth title on this Tour.”

The top-five on the PGA TOUR Series-China Order of Merit will automatically earn status on next year’s Tour, the top-10 will be eligible for the Final Stage of the Tour Qualifying Tournament from December 6-9 and players 11-25 will be exempt to the Second Qualifying Stage.