Tianlang Guan, the 14 year old amateur sensation from China, played well above expectations again this week in New Orleans by making the cut with scores of 72, 69, in the first two rounds. He slipped a little over the weekend, shooting scores of 77 and 74 to finish in 71st place. That said, Guan can look at this showing as another positive in his first trip to the states.
Playing big time tournament golf isn’t easy for any professional golfer, much less a 14 year old 8th grader. Many had there doubts as to whether Guan would even break 80 when he teed off in The Masters two weeks ago. He showed steely resolve to make the cut and overcome a one shot penalty for slow play. He was the only amateur to make the cut and won the low amateur honor, garnering him a seat in Butler Cabin on Sunday at The Masters to receive his honor alongside Masters Champion Adam Scott.
Guan has showed exceptional poise in his visit to the states. He is routinely complemented by his fellow competitors for his graciousness and solid short game and iron play. Since Guan averages only about 250 yards off of the tee he is always hitting first into the greens. That puts a tremendous amount of stress on your short game when playing courses that average 7400 yards. His short game has kept him in the game by getting up and down most of the time. A solid putter has also been a crutch he can lean on.
We will be seeing more of Guan this spring, as he has entered local qualifying for this years U.S. Open. Guan isn’t playing in this weeks Wells Fargo Championship, but there should be at least one more sponsors exemption coming his way. For Guan, the tournament experience will be invaluable. Lets just hope he doesn’t over do it.
By: Dustin Edwards