April 25 2013
Guan Tianlang carded an even-par 72 in his opening round at TPC Louisiana.
By Brian Allee-Walsh, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
AVONDALE, La. -- Chinese teenage sensation Guan Tianlang announced Thursday that he plans to play in a U.S. Open qualifier in the Dallas area in two weeks. In the meantime, he is focused on making the cut at this week's Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
The 14-year-old amateur posted even-par 72 in Thursday's opening round played in favorable conditions at TPC Louisiana, leaving him tied for 85th. He’ll likely have to shoot a red number Friday to make the cut at the 7,341-yard Pete Dye layout.
Guan sits eight shots off the lead held by Ricky Barnes, who tied a course record with a sizzling 8-under 64.
"I think I played pretty good golf,'' said Guan, who became the youngest player to make a cut in Masters Tournament history two weeks ago. "Not the best, but I made some up and downs. This is a little bit different than the Masters. But it's a really big one, too.''
Guan said heavy rains softened the course, which allowed the 156-player field to play under lift, clean and place rules.
"It's pretty wet today,'' he said. "The course is not very hard but it's still challenging.''
With 84 players in red numbers after 18 holes, Round 2 promises to be compelling.
Asked if he thought he would make the cut, Guan replied: "If I play good.''
Henrik Norlander, who played in Guan’s group that also included Justin Bolli, said he continues to be impressed by the young player.
"I live in Augusta and he came in early and practiced at my golf club,'' Norlander said. "He's impressive, hitting 5-woods everywhere and hybrids. He could have shot better than even-par, too. He's extremely a good chipper.
"What's impressive is he just comes out here and is not afraid at all. Hitting the shots is extremely impressive. But he looks like's been playing out here for a few years.''