Zecheng Dou took a two-shot lead in the first round of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at Nanshan International Golf Club in Longkou City, China on Thursday. The 16-year-old is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Tianlang Guan, who last year won the championship as a 14-year-old.
The winner receives an invitation into the 2014 Masters Tournament.
Dou, who made the cut earlier this year at the China Open, was bogey free in the first round at Nanshan International. He had two birdies on the front and one on the back. Zecheng leads Chang-woo Lee of Korea by two shots. Players had to fight an icy wind throughout the day.
“I think I’ve improved a lot from last year, so I feel pretty confident this time,” said Dou, who tied for 18th at this championship a year ago. “I missed a couple of birdie chances but I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job. At the beginning it was very windy and cold, but I started to warm up and just played better and better.”
Brady Watt of Australia is third with 71, and a group of six players are tied for fourth at 72. That includes Australian Oliver Goss, a sophomore at the University of Tennessee, and Taiwan’s Cheng-Tsung Pan, a junior at Washington.
Defending champion Guan posted 3-over 74, thanks in large part to two bogeys and a double bogey on the back nine.
“I felt like I played OK,” Guan said. “I missed a few chances but overall I’m quite happy. I have the confidence to go out and shoot a better score tomorrow.”
Information from the Asia-Pacific Amateur used in this report