Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
There is already too much being speculated about Guan Tianlang's talent. Paul Lakatos / AP Photo
There is already too much being speculated about Guan Tianlang's talent. Paul Lakatos / AP Photo

Spare Chinese golf prodigy Guan Tianlang all that attention

The teenager who becomes the youngest to be selected to play at the Masters, at 14, will take time to develop into a competitive player.

Matteo Manassero must feel old. The Italian, an Abu Dhabi ambassador, is the youngest player to have contested the Masters although come April he will relinquish that particular distinction.

In 2010, a Manassero of 16 years, 11 months and 20 days teed it up on Thursday at Augusta National and promptly made the cut. In five months, Guan Tianlang, at a mere 14 years, five months and 17 days during his first round, will rewrite the record books.

The Chinese youngster triumphed in Sunday's Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship to guarantee his place at next season's first major and ensure the considerable fuss already generated by his victory will continue unabated to the Masters.

However, expectations must be tempered. China craves its own golfing superstar to raise the game's profile there, rather than having to offer huge fees to attract the likes of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, as it did last week.

Guan represents an obvious torchbearer, but he needs time. At the Masters, he will no doubt struggle on one of golf's most daunting courses. For all his obvious ability, he drives the ball only 250 yards, which renders near impossible the 7,435-yard track.

Guan illustrated at the weekend that he could execute a game plan, but events outside the ropes will provide the greatest challenge in Georgia. Granted, Augusta is particularly adept at controlling its environment, but Guan must still be allowed to enjoy his remarkable ascent to stardom.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

On our sixth birthday, today’s news told visually

Today in print, we are doing something different: we use only photos, graphics, illustrations and headlines to capture the news in a one-off collector’s edition.

 Rolling out the structure for the set. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Star Wars: Episode VII evidence in Abu Dhabi desert

After more than a week of speculation, The National has what are believed to be the first photos of a Star Wars shoot in the Abu Dhabi desert.

 Amir Khan, during a workout at the Gloves Community Centre on March 24, 2014 in Bolton, England, says his fight will be the real main event in Las Vegas on May 3. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Amir Khan says bout with Luis Collazo ‘will steal the show’ in Las Vegas on May 3

British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan says his fight with Luis Collazo will be the main attraction on same fight card led by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana, writes Omar Al Raisi.

 Hassan Abdullah, who goes by the name Abu Mahmoud, an Emirati fisherman, poses for a portrait at the Al Rughayalat Port. Abu Mahmoud was born and raised in Fujairah city and has been working as a fisherman since 1968. “I’m a shark man”, he says, “I was born in the sea.” Silvia Razgova / The National

In pictures: Fishing communities in the Northern Emirates

Fishermen in Fujairah and Umm Al Qaiwain worry that new regulations to protect fish stocks are harming their trade. We look at both communities through the lens of our photographers.

 The cast of Fast & Furious 7, including Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, centre, on set at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fast & Furious 7 filming in full swing at Emirates Palace

Filming for Fast & Furious 7 has started and we have the first photos of the cast and crew on set at Emirates Palace hotel this morning. Visitors staying at Emirates Palace say they have been kept away from certain areas in the grounds.

 Al Maryah Island will host the 114-hectare Abu Dhabi Global Market free zone. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

In pictures: Al Maryah Island rises in Abu Dhabi

Al Maryah has been chosen as the site for Abu Dhabi’s first financial free zone, the Abu Dhabi Global Market, and construction activity in the island has been at a fast pace.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National