Blogs & Opinion


Rob Lee blogs on Tianlang Guan, Quail Hollow and Nicolas Colsaerts

Rob Lee Posted 30th April 2013 view comments

What Tianlang Guan has done recently is quite extraordinary.

The 14-year-old made the cut at the Masters but bettered that last Friday by belying the length of the TPC of Louisiana to make the weekend at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Guan: 14-year-old has caught the eye, but must focus on schooling

Guan: 14-year-old has caught the eye, but must focus on schooling

Guan's display at Augusta was freaky but can be slightly countered by the fact that there were only about 90 players in the field and while there were star names, there were some old duffers, too.

However, at the Zurich Classic, the Chinese had to shoot three-under-par to make the cut and he did it in the company of hardened pros who didn't care that he was playing and on a course that favours guys who smack the ball miles.

Guan played some lovely chip shots in Louisiana, so he is obviously a good little thinker.

Rob Lee
Quotes of the week

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If he carries on at this rate he will be the greatest player that ever lived, but plenty of things can happen between now and the time he reaches maturity body-wise and there is no guarantee we'll see him winning tournaments in the next decade or so.

His technique, as you would expect of someone so young, is not brilliant, but he did not three putt or make worse than bogey at the Masters and he played some lovely chip shots in Louisiana, so he is obviously a good little thinker.

Plenty of organisers will now want to lure him to their tournaments but I think the novelty is wearing off a little and it is time for him to go back to school and carry on growing up, not play regularly on the PGA Tour and make up the numbers.

Guan should treat his last month like a trip to Disney World - enjoy it but know that it has to come to an end - and not even think about turning professional until he has finished studying, but I'm sure his parents will drum that into him.

Guan faded over rounds three and four at the Zurich Classic but Billy Horschel didn't, holing a 27-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to pip D.A. Points, the man he finished second to at the Shell Houston Open earlier this season, to the title.

Horschel is a great character to watch on the course as when things starts to go wrong he loses his rag - when he dropped a shot last week he snatched the card out of his caddie's hand - but he is a very good, and very attacking, player.

The American was really going for the tight pins in New Orleans and remained fully committed to his swings all week, and to shoot 64 on the final day amid rain delays shows he has a cracking temperament too.

Stern

The PGA Tour players head to Quail Hollow this week for the Wells Fargo Championship and, if the course gets firm, they will encounter some very severe greens and some very smelly pin positions.

The North Carolina venue has been selected to host the USPGA Championship in 2017 and I can see why; it always provides a stern test and you have to be right on your game to get anything around there.

Rory McIlroy smashed the course to bits in 2010, though, when he racked up 17 birdies and an eagle at the weekend to win the Wells Fargo by four shots and capture his first title on American soil, while he lost in a play-off there to Rickie Fowler in 2012.

The world number two is not heading into this year's event in tremendous form - he finished second at the Valero Texas Open but had a so-so Masters, finishing tied for 25th, and hasn't played since - but will be buoyed by the fact this course has served him well in the past.

McIlroy's fellow European Ryder Cup star Nicolas Colsaerts will also be in the field and looks like he may finally be getting to grips with the PGA Tour if his eighth place finish at the Zurich Classic is anything to go by.

The Belgian has missed a few cuts, which is perhaps a tad surprising considering most PGA courses suit the long hitters and he is certainly one of those, but we have to remember he is a novice to some of these venues and it will take him time to adapt.

When he does, he will be a big threat.

ROB'S SKY BET TIPS

D.A. Points is playing better in 2013 than I thought he would and having made the play-off at the Wells Fargo Championship last year alongside McIlroy and Fowler, he will have good memories. I will back him to win at Quail Hollow, Paul Casey to take the spoils in the Volvo China Open, and Thongchai Jaidee, a five-time victor on the European Tour, to triumph at the Indonesian Masters.

Rob Lee's success as a golf tipster has helped reward four charities.

The Sky Sports golf expert has won nearly £6,000 in two years betting with online bookmaker Sky Bet and has decided to donate all the money to charity.

The charities to benefit from Rob's generosity are Help Uganda Trust, the Ashford St Peters Hospitals Charitable Fund, the Cardinal Newman Parents Association and the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity.

Don't forget to check at Rob's weekly tips at Sky Bet.

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