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TIANJIN, China – While 12-year-old Ye Wocheng was making history Thursday at the China Open, Robert-Jan Derksen was making birdies.
Ye became the youngest player to compete on the European Tour, shooting a 7-over 79 in the first round with a 40-yard chip-in for bogey on his 15th hole.
Derksen shot a 66 to take a two-stroke lead. The 39-year-old Dutchman had six birdies in a seven-hole stretch from the sixth. He added two more on the final three holes at the Binhai Golf Club course.
At 12 years, 242 days, Ye broke the previous record held by Guan Tianlang, who was 13 years, 177 days when he played at last year's China Open. Guan made history last month when he became the youngest to compete in the Masters at 14.
Defending champion Branden Grace (74) struggled early but birdied three of his final five holes.