By Zhang Yuanshinan and Wang Jingyu
BEIJING, Nov. 2 (Xinhuanet) – Yin Xiaowen will never forget the night she was ordered to practice putting, even after her golf club was closed and only the lights from her father’s car lit the green.
“I was really bored and annoyed at that moment,” Yin recalled emotionally. “But one day when I realized that I had made progress, I understood his decision and was grateful.”
Yin, 16, inherited her athletic talent from her parents. Her father, Yin Jianhua, was an amateur soccer player for years and was good at long-distance running, while her mother, Zhang Chunyuan, loved badminton, tennis and swimming.
Yin Xiaowen picked up a golf club for the first time when she was seven years old. The whoosh and ping of the bat hitting the ball has been the soundtrack to her life ever since.
“Golf makes me feel very different from any other sport. I really enjoy hitting the ball wide,” said Yin.
During the first few months of her golf game, Yin unexpectedly won an invitation event for children. Her passion for the game grew quickly and then she opted for formal golf training – two hours a day.
At the age of 10, Yin went to professional training in the USA and attended Feng Shanshan Golf School in 2016. With increasing training intensity, sport gradually dominated her life even during the holidays.
Yin’s mother once took her to Tokyo Disneyland Park. At the end of the day, she urged her mother to leave because she did not want to skip her daily exercise.
“Training and studying have made up almost her entire life over the years. She only took a day off every two weeks,” says Yin’s mother.
Years of hard work laid a solid foundation for Yin’s continued improvement. Last July, Yin became the youngest ever winner of the China LPGA Tour with a five-stroke win in the Zhangjiagang Shuangshan Challenge.
At the Beijing Orient Pearl Country Club, Yin made more history this year when she won the Ladies Challenge and became the first and youngest three-time champion of the China LPGA Tour.
“I’m happy to be the first amateur to win three times on the tour, but I still have a lot to do. Feng Shanshan is the role model for all Chinese players. Hopefully one day I can take over the baton and win honor for my homeland like her, “said Yin.
With a driver range of 280 yards, Yin can already compete with any of the world-class female golfers.
Despite her young age, Yin has a deep understanding of the sport.
“The difference between top athletes is small. What matters is the mental state, ”says Yin.
“During a four-day event I don’t feel at all on the first day, but on the second day I feel a little stressed. On the third day, the tension increases if I stay in front. On the last day, ‘buzzer-beaters’ appear and I’m very nervous that I am be overtaken at any time. “
“But in this process of pressure and uncertainty, I believe that the allure of golf lies,” she added.
With regard to her future, Yin has two goals – one is to officially qualify as a professional for the LPGA; the other is to represent China at next year’s Asian Games in Hangzhou.
“I admit that I have some talent in golf, but I’m not sure how far I can go on this path,” said Yin.
“Needless to say, being an athlete in this field is a tough decision for me to make, but the only thing I can make sure of is that I will stick with it no matter what results I get.”