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2013 Zurich Classic of New Orleans Discussion Thread

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Jason Dufner is the defending champ and 14-year-old Chinese amateur Guan Tianlang, who made the cut at the Masters two weeks ago as the youngest contestant in tournament history, got a sponsors invite this week in New Orleans.

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During a month he spent in China earlier this year, Faldo had time to observe and talk to Guan about his golf game and his plans. At Mission Hills in Shenzhen, China, before Guan and his parents traveled to Augusta to prepare for the Masters, Guan received the Mission Hills Trophy for leading the Faldo Series the previous year.

“He’s got growing to do -- physically, mentally, all those things,” Faldo said. “There’s absolutely no rush. Golf is a sport that we can view as a 20-year window competing at the highest level. Do you get started at 14 to go to 34? Do you get started at 20 to go to 40? I think that’s the smartest thing.

“If he’s won everything by the time he’s 18, then, yeah, maybe. Once you’ve cleaned up as an amateur, and you really are the best, then you think about doing it. You get the opportunity to play in pro events and you can really gauge yourself. And if you’re playing nicely as an amateur, finishing top 10 in pro events, well then, yeah, maybe there’s a decision to make about turning pro.”

Because of its history as the club co-founded by Bob Jones, considered the greatest amateur in the sport’s history, the Augusta National Golf Club has always had a keen interest in identifying and promoting the world’s best amateur players by issuing earned exemptions into the field at the Masters. Guan earned his exemption. He was the youngest player competing in the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship. He was ranked 290th in the world amateur rankings. By holing a critical 6-footer for par on the 72nd hole to secure the victory, Guan was catapulted into the world spotlight. So far, he has reacted to its glare with aplomb.

As he glided through the Masters with blissful serenity, tipping his cap to applauding patrons, holing putts from Atlanta to Aiken, dead-handing soft, seeing-eye chips and pitches that drew immediate and enthusiastic applause from fellow competitor Ben Crenshaw, a two-time champion at the Masters who was the low amateur at the Masters 40 years ago.

“There’s magic in those hands,” Crenshaw, who should know, told John Hopkins, the Welsh golf writer and for many years the golf correspondent for the Sunday Times.

Of that there can be no dispute. Guan is a legitimate short-game wizard. He finished the week at the Masters tied for first in putting, averaged just 1.39 putts per hole and did not have a 3-putt -- or a score higher than bogey -- for the 72 holes. What that tells you is Guan already has a very important skill, something that many TOUR pros take a lifetime to learn: he knows how to score.

He also knows how to get the most out of his 5-foot-9, 135-pound frame. He was the shortest hitter in the Masters field, no surprise and probably no long-term concern. This week during practice rounds in New Orleans at the TPC Louisiana, where he is likely to again be the shortest hitter, Guan took on the 476-yard, par-4 sixth hole into a headwind. He had a 220-yard second shot, which he took care of with a 4-wood to about 20 feet. He made it for birdie.

“His name translated to ‘Big and Strong,’ and, obviously, he’s 4 feet tall,” Faldo said. “We did everything by sign language. He followed us around and became our little mascot for the weekend. I’d just point high, and he’d hit a high wedge. I’d point low and he’d hit it low. He was just watching, doing his own thing, and you could just see him thinking, ‘That’s what I want to do when I get big.’

“It’s what I said years ago about places like China. As soon as they get a hero, watch out. And now, my goodness, their hero is only 14 years old.”

Also video of what's in D.A. Points' bag

http://www.pgatour.com/video/2013/04/22/in-the-bag--d-a--points.html

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I would love to see Guan do well here. He seems like a really grounded kid and he's entertaining to watch.

Dufner, being from Cleveland, is easy for me to get behind also. I just wish he wasn't so dry and boring. The guy has the personality of a piece of paper. Hell, I think the chew that drips down his chin has a better sense of humor.

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Going thing Guan isn't a hockey player, his nickname would probably be Guan-o. Hope he does well too, and I agree he had a great demeanor and carried himself well at Augusta. Little slow...;-)...but good.
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Originally Posted by Ernest Jones

Going thing Guan isn't a hockey player, his nickname would probably be Guan-o. Hope he does well too, and I agree he had a great demeanor and carried himself well at Augusta. Little slow......but good.

Yeah he definitely played slow, but hell if I was 14 and at Augusta... I would have been riddled with slow-play penalties.

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Yeah he definitely played slow, but hell if I was 14 and at Augusta... I would have been riddled with slow-play penalties.

I mighta run outta balls!

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Originally Posted by Ernest Jones

I mighta run outta balls!

Ha, yeah same here!

I don't really know why so many of the old-school guys around golf, the extreme "purists", are so against Guan playing in professional events. If my son was 14 and seemed to have the maturity that Guan has, I would have no problem allowing him to compete. If he seemed to be letting it get to his head or showing signs that he's not mentally prepared for the fame and attention, I would pull him out until he either turned 18 or matured. I hear so many people on both TV and at my home course bashing the kid and his parents and saying he belongs no where near any professional event, even after his performance at the Masters. I just don't get it...

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Ricky Barnes really lit it up this morning! Guan needs to make a birdie or two to get jump started....
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Ricky Barnes really lit it up this morning!

Shhhhh, nobody tell him it's not Saturday at a major.

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Greetings .... The "resident members" of the golf course were out in force today. Check out this PGA Tour/Golf Channel video ...... [VIDEO]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7ZHryytkkc[/VIDEO] Thanx-A-Lot and Pass The Pepsodent, Frank-0-Sport
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Originally Posted by David in FL

Ricky Barnes really lit it up this morning!

About time. Is this guy a big disappointment, or what?

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Originally Posted by Rick Martin

About time. Is this guy a big disappointment, or what?


Not really. He had a big year in 2010 (almost $2 million), but he still places in the top 125 every year, which is pretty good playing.

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Seriously . . . I have seen gators on a course before but there appeared to be more gators than spectators at yesterday's round.

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Originally Posted by Frank-0-Sport

Greetings ....

The "resident members" of the golf course were out in force today. Check out this PGA Tour/Golf Channel video ......

Thanx-A-Lot and Pass The Pepsodent, Frank-0-Sport

That 3-legged one makes me think of James Bond for some reason.

Fun fact I just learned:  Those are REAL crocodiles he's running across at the end of the scene!  (A stunt man, not Roger Moore obviously, but still ... REAL crocodiles!!!)

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Guan continues to impress carding a 69 today to put himself inside the -2 projected cut line.

Does anyone know if they still show each players tournament stats somewhere at pgatour.com?  It used to below the players score card...would be curious to see where Guan ranks vs the field.  Edit- I see you can get some of this with shot tracker, but can't find the same summary page

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Originally Posted by MEfree

Guan continues to impress carding a 69 today to put himself inside the -2 projected cut line.

Does anyone know if they still show each players tournament stats somewhere at pgatour.com?  It used to below the players score card...would be curious to see where Guan ranks vs the field.  Edit- I see you can get some of this with shot tracker, but can't find the same summary page

There is a tab there for "performance stats" but that appears to be for only previous tournaments.

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Originally Posted by Harmonious

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rick Martin

About time. Is this guy a big disappointment, or what?

Not really. He had a big year in 2010 (almost $2 million), but he still places in the top 125 every year, which is pretty good playing.

Does he even have a PGA win? I'd like to compare his career to other top amateur, collegiate players like Hunter Mahan and Matt Kucher.  He doesn't compare very well - as I said, he's underachieved for what he should be capable of. Disappointment -

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Originally Posted by Rick Martin

Does he even have a PGA win? I'd like to compare his career to other top amateur, collegiate players like Hunter Mahan and Matt Kucher.  He doesn't compare very well - as I said, he's underachieved for what he should be capable of. Disappointment -

I often hear announcers or someone from the public say a guy should have won MORE but I rarely hear them say who should have won LESS.  Even in my own mind, Corey Pavin may be the only player who I thought should have won less than he actually did.

Barnes tuned pro in 2003- looking at the 2002 US Am and NCAA results, it seems like he has not done as well as guys like Bill Haas, Hunter Mahan, Graeme McDowell, Nick Watney and Ryan Moore

but I think he has had a better career than David Miller, Justin Bray, Justin Smith, Justin Walters, Adam Rubinson, Matt Anderson, Michael Beard, Ramon Bescansa, Shiv Kapur, John Klauk, James Lepp, etc.

102nd U.S. Amateur Championship   -   Round 2 Full Leaderboard
Updated 7:27pm EDT ( 23:27 GMT )


* N = North Course
S = South Course

Position Player Country Total Hole* Today Rounds Total
1 2 3 4
1 HAAS, Bill -5 F S -2 67 N 68 S 135
2 MERRICK, John -3 F S -4 71 N 66 S 137
2 MILLER, David -3 F N -3 70 S 67 N 137
2 KIM, Anthony -3 F S -3 70 N 67 S 137
2 BARNES, Ricky -3 F S -1 68 N 69 S 137
2 BRAY, Dustin -3 F N -3 70 S 67 N 137

NCAA's men's golf championships final results

Updated: June 1, 2002, 9:30 PM ET
Associated Press

UPPER ARLINGTON, Ohio -- Final-round scores Saturday in the NCAA men's golf championships on the 7,222-yard, par-71 Scarlet Course at Ohio State.


Individual leaders
Troy Matteson, Georgia Tech 73-66-70-67--276 8-under Adam Rubinson, TCU 69-67-72-69--277 7-under Hunter Mahan, Oklahoma St. 68-71-67-72--278 6-under Graeme McDowell, UAB 71-67-67-74--279 5-under Justin Smith, Minnesota 69-70-71-69--279

Justin Walters, N. Carolina St.70-67-71-72--280 4-under Nick Watney, Fresno St. 72-68-70-70--280

Matt Anderson, Minnesota 73-71-71-66--281 3-under Michael Beard, Pepperdine 71-72-67-71--281 Ryan Moore, UNLV 72-69-68-72--281 Par Nilsson, Oklahoma St. 71-73-68-69--281 D.J. Trahan, Clemson 71-66-78-66--281

Ramon Bescansa, N. Carolina 69-72-70-71--282 2-under Shiv Kapur, Purdue 71-73-71-67--282 John Klauk, Texas 73-67-73-69--282 James Lepp, Illinois 70-72-72-68--282

Ricky Barnes, Arizona 71-71-70-71--283 1-under Dustin Bray, N. Carolina 68-68-75-72--283 Gregg Jones, Clemson 69-69-75-70--283 Eric Jorgenson, Michigan St. 72-69-69-73--283 Brock Mackenzie, Washington 66-69-72-76--283 Chris Noel, Tulsa 69-69-71-74--283

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