Canada’s Creighton, China’s Yang share lead in Qinhuangdao

BEIJING, CHINA(May 16 , 2019)—Canada’s Myles Creighton and China’s Yinong Yang both fired opening, 6-under 66s to lead the charge at the Qinhuangdao Championship, the fifth event of the PGA TOUR Series-China.

Creighton is looking to become the second consecutive Canadian to win. Richard Jung, who is not in this field, won the Beijing Championship last week.

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American Ryann Ree, fresh off his runner-up finish in Beijing, carded a 67 at Qinhuangdao Poly Golf Club to share third along with compatriot Luke Kwon and China’s Hongfu Wu.

Yang, 21, teed off in the morning and posted an early clubhouse lead, which looked tough to beat as the wind picked up drastically in the afternoon. The breeze didn’t seem to bother Creighton, who birdied three of his last five holes to move into a share of the lead.

Creighton graduated last year from Radford University, the same school which produced 2018 Order of Merit winner Callum Tarren, and the Digby, Nova Scotia native, is playing his first year in China after earning conditional status at Q-School in February.

The Canadian is full of confidence after earning his first top-10 on the Tour at the Beijing Championship and it certainly showed today as he drained putts, including a 30-footer.

“I made a birdie on 14, which was a good 12-footer and then on 15 I hit it to about 30 feet on the back of the green. I was just trying to two-putt, it and it happened to go in,” said Creighton. “I guess sometimes when you’re playing good you just get a little lucky.”

Creighton then closed with a birdie on hole 18 to put himself in a good spot as he chases his first PGA TOUR-affiliated title, admitting the round could have gone differently if not for this great par save earlier in the round.

“I was 2-under through eight holes, and I hit it long left off the green on hole 9. That green is just insane. It’s the three tiers, you could have 10 feet and then have 40 feet for your next one,” said Creighton. “I was not in a good spot, and I flicked it to about 10 feet and made that putt, so that felt good to make par there, and I think that was important to keep the round going.”

Yang also carded seven birdies and one bogey and will be a player to watch the rest of the week as the youngster from Beijing continues to improve his game.

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“Compared with last season, I feel that I am much better this year. The PGA TOUR Series-China has much more depth each year, and I think that helps me improve my game. It’s good competition, and I hope to get a good result his week and prove that I can hang with the good players here.”

Did you know that Yinong Yang turned pro in 2016 and has played every year on the PGA TOUR Series-China since 2014. He tied for 24th at the same event in 2018, and his best result on the Tour came at last year’s Qingdao Championship, where he tied for seventh.

Key Information

  • The course this week is a par-72 totaling 7,185 yards.
  • Yinong Yang finished 65th on the Tour’s 2018 Order of Merit.
  • Last week in Beijing, Ryann Ree earned his best Tour result with his runner-up finish. His last five rounds have all been under-par. Seven of his first eight rounds to start the season—at the Chongqing Championship and Sanya Championship—were also under-par.
  • Ryann Ree finished 26th on the Order of Merit in 2018. He is now 7th on the money list after the first four events.
  • Luke Kwon graduated from the University of Oklahoma and was teammates with fellow Tour player Max McGreevy. He is off to a solid start, with his opening 67. He has missed the cut in two of his last three starts.
  • Last year’s runner-up Steve Lewton is tied for 14th after an opening-round 69. Coming into this week, Lewton’s first-round stroke average is 69.75. His second-round average is 68.5. His issues have been on the weekend, where he’s 72.25 in the third round and 72.33 on Sundays.
  • After three top-fives in the season’s first four events, Max McGreevy is again off to a good start and is tied for sixth after an opening-round 68.
  • Corey Hale won the Monday qualifier to gain entrance into the field and is tied for 14th after an opening round 69.
  • Last week in Beijing, Myles Creighton recorded his first top-10 on this Tour, tying for ninth.

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Quotable

“It was one of the better rounds I’ve played in a while. It was pretty tough out there, and it started out pretty windy on the first 12 holes and it kind of died down a little bit towards the end, which made for some birdie holes.” – Myles Creighton

“I was 1-under through four (holes), and it felt like I was about 4-under, so those first few holes were playing tough. But I managed to stay pretty solid all around and had just one three-putt on hole 6. It was a tough putt.” – Myles Creighton

“Last week certainly gave me some confidence. I had a chance going into the last round. I was in the second-to-last group, which was good to show myself that I could do that. I’m playing with a lot of confidence right now, so I’m excited for the rest of the week.” – Myles Creighton

“I like the greens here at Qinhuangdao Poly Golf Club, and the ball rolls very smoothly. The course is a bit difficult because the fairways are not very wide and if you hit in the (tall) grass, it is not easy to attack the greens.” – Yinong Yang

“I did bogey the second hole, and then I made a long birdie putt on hole 3, about 20 feet, and then the next hole I made another 12-footer for birdie, which got my round going.” – Ryann Ree

“I hit every green today besides the second hole, so it was a really good day.” – Ryann Ree

“I hit it really well, and I putted really well today. I missed a couple short ones, but overall it was pretty good.” – Ryann Ree

“I knew the wind wasn’t going to be as strong today as in the practice rounds, so I knew that I would have a lot of wedge shots and opportunities, and I took advantage of them today.” – Ryann Ree

“I feel good. I’m just riding off the momentum of last week, and hopefully I’ll get the job done this week.” – Ryann Ree

Tournament Fast Fact

This is the second Qinhuangdao Championship. In 2018, New Zealand’s Nick Voke won the event at 12-under, after defeating England’s Steve Lewton in a playoff.

First-Round Weather Report

Mostly sunny. High of 75. Wind S at 12 mph.