When the field tees off at the Dell Championship in Xiamen Thursday, there will be a father-son pair among the field for the first time. Wu Weihuang, 40, will compete against his 17-year-old son Wu Jianlong, a student at Xiamen Sports School who will be playing in his first professional event.
The elder Wu is a former martial arts champion and also a character who draws crowds on the links, according to World Sport Group, which puts on the tournament as well as the Omega China Tour. The younger Wu is a former basketball player who took up golf at 14, and has progressed rapidly.
“I basically went from shooting in the 90s to shooting in the 70s last summer,” says Jianlong, a three handicapper.
The story of the two Wus mirrors the Chinese professional golf world as a whole. Older players on the tour are pretty much all in a second career, coming to golf from other work, often not as professional athletes. The younger players may have gotten an earlier start than their older counterparts, but still have come to the game relatively late compared to players in other parts of the world. For more on the subject, keep an eye on Shanghaiist editor Dan Washburn, who has been following security guard-turned-pro-golfer Zhou Xunshu, as the central figure of a book on China’s development and the growth of golf here.
Wu Weihuang image: World Sport Group
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