Ye makes history at China Open; Derksen leads by two shots wire reports

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.

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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.

At the top of the leaderboard, Derksen shot a 6-under 66 to take a two-stroke lead. The 39-year-old Dutchman had six birdies in a seven-hole stretch from the sixth, and then added two more on the final three holes at the Binhai Golf Club course.

"It's only the first day, I know, but I haven't led a tournament for quite a while, so if I can keep rolling in the putts, hopefully we could be in for a good week," Derksen said.

Brett Rumford, Raphael Jacquelin and Kiradeck Aphibarnrat were tied for second at 68. All three have already won this season.

"It was very windy out there today, very windy and a lot of patience was required," said Rumford, who won last week's Ballantine's Championship. "Mentally, I feel nice and fresh out there today as it was a mental grind in the wind, so it was a good test in my first round since my win last week."

Defending champion Branden Grace (74) struggled early but birdied three of his final five holes.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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