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13-year-old golfer Ye Wo-cheng struggling at European Masters

September 06, 2013|By David Wharton

Earlier this week, the venerable -- and aging -- Miguel Angel Jimenez threw some cold water on the buzz surrounding teen golfer Ye Wo-cheng.

Just 13 years old, Ye was given a sponsor's invitation to the European Masters.

"No doubt the sponsor wants publicity for the tournament," the 49-year-old Jimenez said. "But then it seems you have to go looking for underage players to promote yourself. I'm sorry, this should not be allowed."

Midway through Friday's second round, it appears the Spanish veteran is being proved correct. Ye dropped to 11-over par through 10 holes and stood 22 strokes behind leader Stephen Gallacher.

Only 12 when he played in the China Open, Ye is the youngest competitor in European Tour history.

"Play my best," Ye said before the first round. "Try my best."

Not everyone in the field at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club in Switzerland opposes his presence. But Jimenez -- who was tied for ninth at seven-under on Friday -- worried about what it could mean for Ye's future.

"They should not be pushing kids his age too hard as it could have a disastrous effect on their careers," he said. "I hope he enjoys himself this week, but then I saw him hitting practice balls this morning, and he looked very nervous and he should not be in that position."

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