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Golf: 'Tiger Dads' in search of China's Tiger Woods

Published on Dec 4, 2013 11:14 AM
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This file photo taken on April 14, 2013 shows Guan Tianlang of China hitting a drive during the fourth round of the 77th Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.  A wave of child prodigies is emerging in China, tutored by foreign coaches and ingrained with an insatiable desire to succeed by their wealthy, highly-disciplined parents.  -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

GUANGZHOU (AFP) - China is mobilising the state behind golf, but 13-year-old Ye Wocheng, the youngest player to compete on the European Tour, says officials should turn instead to the country's "tiger" parents to find the next Tiger Woods.

Golf was once banned in Communist China as a bourgeois indulgence, but its return to the Olympics has seen Beijing build a high-tech US$80 million (S$100 million) training complex and enlist its rigid education system in a search for new stars.

While officials are looking to satisfy the national urge for medals, a wave of child prodigies is already emerging, tutored by foreign coaches and ingrained with an insatiable desire to succeed by their wealthy, highly-disciplined parents.

Ye made history earlier this year when he played at the Volvo China Open aged just 12 years and 242 days.

 
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