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April 23 2013

4:32 PM

Guan ready for another challenge

By PGATOUR.COM staff

Guan Tianlang's goals as he plays in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans are not unlike the ones the talented 14-year-old had two weeks ago when he made his debut at Augusta National.

"I want to enjoy the week like in the Masters and, hopefully, make the cut," Guan said. "If not, it's still a great experience. I hope to play good scores out there."

Guan, who became the youngest to win low amateur honors at the Masters, knows he faces a different challenge this week with a field of 156 players rather than the more limited one at the Masters. Making birdies will be essential, too -- the cut was 2 under a year ago as opposed to 4 over at Augusta National.

"Probably," Guan agreed. "It's a challenging golf course, but it depends on the weather and where they put the tees and the pins. So it's not an easy week too.

At 7,341 yards, TPC Louisiana will present another challenge for the slender Guan, who averages about 250 yards off the tee. He managed to shoot four rounds in the 70s at the Masters, though, and didn't have a three-putt or a score over bogey so it's clear the teen can hold his own.

"I think this is also a big course for me," acknowledged Guan, who tied for first in putting at the Masters. "I need to putt it good I think. And I should play really good woods to make the cut and go further, but I still need to play a really good couple of rounds." 

He should see some familiar faces in the crowd, though, after spending a month in New Orleans last summer.

"I came here last year and practiced here in some golf courses at ... Lakewood, and we started to get some friends in Lakewood," Guan said, adding that he appreciates the support. "I take part in the golf clinic last year too and helped teach the little kids. It's a lot of fun there."

Guan said he wasn't sure about his schedule. He might go back to China after competing in New Orleans but he does plan to try to qualify for the U.S. Open.

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