13-year-old amateur Xin Ying Wang
The LET caught up with Michael Dickey, Head Coach of the Chinese National Team, to discover more about his pupils playing at this week’s tournament.
Amateur Xin Ying Wang, from Beijing, is the youngest player in the field at the ISPS Handa Ladies British Masters this week aged 13 and she is from Beijing. She started to play golf when she was eight and is one of the two Chinese players invited this week by the LET. This is her first time visiting Europe and last week she played a LET Access Series event in Finland, the Women´s Bank Open and finished tied for third. So, it was a magnificent result considering that this was her first tournament ever in Europe. Her coach, Michael (Mike) Dickey, said: “She had a good week; it was a good result, but she had worked hard to be third place.”
Mike explained that he is responsible for the Chinese National Team of 10 players and they are based in the north of China, at a golf course called Nanshan Golf Club.
“We are there in the summer time but in the winter we go to the south of China, where it is warmer.”
Xin Ying spends most of her time with the team, but she does attend school part-time. Now she is on her summer holidays but during the year, every five weeks or so, she goes back to school for one or two weeks and the teachers sometimes travel with her to training sessions for extra study to compensate for missed time.
The team’s training program starts at 6:30 in the morning and Mike says: “With gym session, physical work until 7:30 and then they have breakfast. From 9 to 12 we do training golf sessions. 12:00 to 2 pm lunch and little rest and more golf training after lunch, from 2 to 5 pm. We finish the day with another physical session at the gym and dinner after that....but after dinner, school and go to bed around 9:30........Quite a busy day!”
Xi Yu Lin is another player from the Chinese Team that will be playing here this week invited by the LET. She is now 16 and turned pro the end of last year. Her best performance so far is her Qualifying for the USA Open last year and finished 5th in Sanya Ladies Open 2011 (a co-sanctioned LET event). She also played in the “Asian Games” and she won with the China Team the Silver Medal.
Yu Yang Zhang is 21 years old and was the first Chinese player to get her full LET card this season. “She has played in seven events this year and made 5 cuts. She is just learning, settled into life on the tou, getting to know how the things work.”
We asked Mike how they manage with the language and said that Xi and Yu manage very well and speak very well English. Their English is no problem. But the youngest, Xin Ying is very shy....she understands it but needs more practice. Regarding the goal for the three players this week, Mike said Xin Ying’s goal will be made the cut. Yu Yang’s expectations this week are to make the top 15 on leaderboard: “She is playing very well.” Xi Yu Lin’s goals would be to make the cut: “She has been playing well all year. She is young but a very powerful player and this golf course suits her. I would not been surprised if she plays well this week.”
We also talk about the differences between their life and customs/traditions in China and Europe. Mike said “Yu Yang is enjoying her life here on the European Tour and is really getting used to it, she likes it very much and has lots of friends.”
Regarding the weather conditions this week, Mike said the players are used to playing in all weathers so they can deal with it. We will watch with interest to see how these players perform!
|From left: Yu Yang Zhang and Michael Dickie