Chinese golfer, 13, creates history but makes below par start

Author : clematite1904
Publish Date : 2021-04-07 02:31:46


Chinese golfer, 13, creates history but makes below par start

He became the youngest player in European Tour golf history after teeing off at the China Open and Guan Tian-Lang's record-breaking round was below par -- but not in a good way.

The 13-year-old struggled as he joined the big boys at golf's top table, ending his opening round on five-over-par to sit 149th in a field of 156.

Guan, from Guangzhou, endured a nervous start to his historic round as he joined the likes of Englishman Ian Poulter, who finished seventh at this month's Masters, competing for the $3.1 million tournament prize fund.



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He made three bogeys and one double bogey in his first six holes and ended the day 12 shots behind leader Matthew Baldwin, from England.

But despite Guan's baptism of fire, playing partner Marcus Fraser, who ended the day two shots off Baldwin, said the schoolboy has a bright future ahead of him.

'I couldn't believe I was playing with a 13-year-old -- I am old enough to be his dad,' Australian Fraser told the European Tour's website. 'It's pretty scary actually -- I thought I was still quite young.

'He was very impressive for someone who is 13 and a half years old. He hits it long off the tee and hits a lot of very good shots.

'His putting is good and he has good routines. You can see he is very competitive too which you need to be. If he keeps on the path he is on then he can be a great player.

'To be that age and be able to play at this level is amazing. I felt lucky to be out there with him because if he keeps going he will be in the top ten in the world pretty comfortably.

'He is very mature, very driven but he is not being pushed into by his parents -- he wants to go out there and play and improve and that is the main thing.

'A lot of kids get pushed into things but that is not the case here. He really wants it and it is pretty cool to see that in someone so young.'

After shedding his early nerves, Guan was more consistent in the second half of his round and shot level par on the back nine.

But despite his indifferent start, there's no taking away Guan's title as the youngest player at a European Tour event -- breaking the record set by by Taiwan's Lo Shih-Kai -- who was 103 days older when he played at the 2003 Hong Kong Open.

The youngster now faces an uphill battle to fulfill his dream of becoming the youngest player to make the halfway cut and give himself a chance to qualify for the second major of the golf calendar -- the U.S. Open in June.

If successful, he would break the record set by compatriot Jason Hak who was 14 years and 304 days old when he played at the 2008 Hong Kong Open.

Guan will have his work cut out if he is to catch 25-year-old Baldwin at the top of the leaderboard, after his bogey-free opening round.

Although a rookie on the European Tour, the Englishman showed no signs of inexperience as he carded seven birdies at Binhai Lake Golf Club in Tianjin.

There is a six-way tie for second a shot behind Baldwin -- with his compatriot Gary Boyd, Dutchman Joost Luiten, Scott Strange of Australia, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet from France, Swede Fredrik Andersson-Hed and South African Jbe Kruger all hot on his heels.

Poulter finished on one-under-par while former top ten player Paul Casey, also from England, was on four-under.

The youngster now faces an uphill battle to fulfill his dream of becoming the youngest player to make the halfway cut and give himself a chance to qualify for the second major of the golf calendar -- the U.S. Open in June. He made three bogeys and one double bogey in his first six holes and ended the day 12 shots behind leader Matthew Baldwin, from England. Poulter finished on one-under-par while former top ten player Paul Casey, also from England, was on four-under. 'A lot of kids get pushed into things but that is not the case here. He really wants it and it is pretty cool to see that in someone so young.' 'A lot of kids get pushed into things but that is not the case here. He really wants it and it is pretty cool to see that in someone so young.' The youngster now faces an uphill battle to fulfill his dream of becoming the youngest player to make the halfway cut and give himself a chance to qualify for the second major of the golf calendar -- the U.S. Open in June. Poulter finished on one-under-par while former top ten player Paul Casey, also from England, was on four-under. He became the youngest player in European Tour golf history after teeing off at the China Open and Guan Tian-Lang's record-breaking round was below par -- but not in a good way.

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