LONGKOU CITY, China (AP) — Chinese teenager Dou Zecheng handled the chill and the wind for a 3-under 68 on Thursday to take a two-shot lead after the opening round of the Asia-Pacific Amateur.
The winner gets an invitation to the Masters and a spot in the final stage of British Open qualifying.
Guan Tianlang won the Asia-Pacific last year and the made the cut at the Masters, becoming at 14 the youngest player to make the cut in a 72-hole major. The 16-year-old Dou can only hope he's the next Chinese tee to get to Augusta National.
"I think I've improved a lot from last year, so I feel pretty confident this time," said Dou, who tied for 18th in the Asia-Pacific Amateur. "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."
Guan struggled to a 74 and was six shots behind.
Lee Chang-woo of South Korea had a 70, while U.S. Amateur semifinalist Brady Watt of Australia was another shot behind.
Lee tied for second, along with two-time major champion Rory McIlroy, at the Korea Open last week. He started on the tougher back nine at Nanshan and had a bogey on the 13th hole before bouncing back with a pair of birdies.
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