Seen & Heard – Thursday, April 11, 2013

by Rob G

One of my favourite weeks of the year is well underway – Masters week. Understand this is from a middle aged guy that took up the game of golf very young, and never lost the love for it. I’ll understand some of you that will tune out, as you’re not as big a fan of the “game for life”.

There have been a number of key storylines to track, but for me, the amazing story is 14 year old Tianlang Guan from China. I’ll be honest – I didn’t give this kid a chance to break 80 when he tee’d it up for real earlier today, yet he emphatically did. Augusta is not a short course anymore, and for this young man to shoot one over par when he doesn’t drive it more than 250 yards is astonishing to me. It speaks to how accurate he is with his hybrids and iron play, as well as how good his short game and putting is. You would have to think that if he does this at 14 years old, the future is very bright.

Which brings me to the comments I heard this evening on the Golf Channel from analyst (and former PGA tour player) Brandel Chamblee. His comments this evening regarding Guan were that he played with Tiger Woods and Tom Watson earlier this week in practice rounds, he conferred with Jack Nicklaus during the week, and he wouldn’t be surprised if he did what Lydia Ko (LPGA tour player and teenager) did – win a major or a professional golf tournament.

I understand analysts feel the need to make statements that aren’t benign. However, to make a prediction on a 14 year old kid’s future is in my opinion asinine. I get that some analysts are in the business of making the bold prediction on a particular athlete, but I think it might be best to save those bold predictions for elsewhere. Let’s just let this phenom from China enjoy some organic growth as he acclimates himself into golf in the western world.

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