Chinese Great Hope Hu Begins Long March In Yangon

Wed 20 Feb 2013

Chinese Great Hope Hu Begins Long March In Yangon

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Yangon, February 20: The road to Rio de Janeiro begins at Yangon for China’s Hu Mu as he lines up against the region’s top stars at the Asian Tour’s season-opening Zaykabar Myanmar Open on Thursday.
The 23-year-old, touted as the next great Chinese hope, is tipped by many to feature in the Olympics when golf makes a return into the programme in three years’ time. But the tenacious Hu knows he must take it one step at a time as he prepares his long march.
A final day meltdown at the Qualifying School in Thailand last month cost Hu dearly but he is determined the right the wrongs which cost him a top-40 finish and an Asian Tour card. He entered the last day in tied seventh place but staggered home with a disappointing 78.
“There is a bit of pressure which is good,” said Hu on the eve of the US$300,000 Zaykabar Myanmar Open presented by Alpine. “I don’t have full status and I need to have a good start. I’ve worked on something, especially mentally after my meltdown in the Q-school final day. I want to get into a good position and see if I can improve on that over the weekend.”
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Hu, who trains under American swing guru David Leadbetter, has taken up membership and one of China’s country exemptions with the Asian Tour this season which will give him limited starts. However, he knows the only way he can start featuring in the big events will be to win a tournament or post good finishes in the early events to get his re-ranking up.
“Definitely I want to try to get into more events through the re-ranking. I just have to play as many as I can. I think I’m capable of doing well here but it’ll be one tournament a time for me,” he said.
“I played here last year and finished around 30th. I like the course and layout. I think I’m better prepared this time than at Q-school and I’m looking forward to it.”
Hu won’t be too caught up with the Olympics just yet but knows he needs to get around the world’s top-200 mark to stand a chance of making the 60-man field in 2016.
“One of my goals is to get to the top-500 in the world this year. I think I need a win to get there. I’m not going to think about the Olympics as its three years’ away. It’s step by step. I think if you get into the top-200, you can get a Chinese golfer into the Olympics,” said Hu, who is also keen to play in the secondary Asian Development Tour which will offer world ranking points from this season onwards.
“I see a lot of good things and I just need to put everything together. I’ve already committed to playing a full season on the Asian Tour and I’m looking forward to it.”
Hu knows he will face many more knocks in his fledgling career as he continues his journey in the play-for-pay ranks and reckons the bitter experience at Qualifying School will make him a better golfer.
“The last day, I didn’t have a good feeling on the range and once I got out there, my entire strategy was messy. I was planning to hit each shot 100% but I was playing tentatively. I still hit 13 greens that day but found three hazards.
“For days when you don’t feel well, you need to have specific targets on some holes that you really need to score. That’s something which I need to improve – playing golf when I’m not 100%. But it was a good experience. It’s not the first time that it happened but in Q-school, it was different.
“My game is there. Sometimes, the consistency which is caused by mental errors or lack of strategy, I think I need to improve on the small aspects outside of the game. My game, putting and chipping is very good at the moment. Just need to improve on the little stuff to make the rounds better.”
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf