Han Ren, Wu Wei-huang and Beijing amateur Chen Pei-cheng all have their eyes set on winning one of the three qualifying places on offer in this week’s Volvo China Open Fujian Ocean West Qualifying.

All three players have strong links to the title sponsor, Volvo, and each of the three has good reason to feel that he can win through to the RMB 20 million Volvo China Open, which will take place for the third consecutive year at the exclusive Topwin Golf and Country Club near the capital city of Beijing.

Wu, 49, was among the early pioneers of golf in China and has played in the Volvo China Open no less than 14 times. And while age might be a factor for some players born in the same year, Wu is physically very fit being a martial arts exponent as well as a professional golfer.

“This is the first time the Volvo China Open Qualifying has come to Fujian province and it will have a very positive impact on the development of golf in the province, as there are not many pros in here.” said Wu.

“My son, Wu Jian-yang, is also playing in the qualifying this week and it is a great opportunity for him to gain some experience in high quality competition.

“I’ve taken part in Volvo-sponsored tournaments every year since I turned pro and the Volvo China Open has the longest history of any of the Chinese golf tournaments, so it’s very special. As such I always take the qualifying events seriously and I try my best to win one of the three qualifying places.”

Added to his many sporting achievements, Wu is also the “local boy”, living in the nearby port city of Xiamen, which is just a 30-minute drive from Zhangzhou. As such he has played the Fujian Ocean West course many times in the past.

Shenzhen-based Han is 20 years the junior of Wu but has played in the qualifiers almost constantly since 2006. He has also played in the Volvo China Open on four occasions and in 2007 he became the first amateur Chinese player to make the cut in a European Tour event at Silport Golf Club in Shanghai.

Han, 29, said that he plans to do his very best this week over the demanding Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, especially as he missed the Nansha Qualifier through injury.

“The Volvo China Open is a very special event for me – playing in the national open has to be a top priority for all players,” said Han, who graduated from the business school at Indiana University in 2011.

“Playing in the qualifiers is a great way to warm up for the Volvo China Open because the conditions and set up are very close to the main event.

“Playing well is not always the route to gaining one of the three qualifying spots – you also need to be lucky sometimes,” added Han, who got married two years ago to a girl he met while at university.

The three players were invited to attend a photo shoot on the par-five 18th hole at Fujian Ocean West Golf Club this afternoon, a hole that features an ancient aquaduct that spans the width of the fairway at about 325 yards from the tournament tee.

Chen was somewhat overawed by being invited to attend a photo shoot with Wu and Han, players that between them have many years of competitive experience.

“I feel honored to be part of a photo shoot with two very experienced players such as Han and Wu,” said Chen, 15.

“I’m also a bit nervous about competing this week as I very much want to post a good result in such an important tournament,” added Chen, who first walked the fairways of the Volvo China Open as a volunteer scorer, but who has since gone on to become one of China’s very best junior players.



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