Guan Tianlang is precocious. He is a star. We’re not sure if he knows this and is simply playing the role of establishmentarian golf prodigy to a tee — with understated self-assessments washed with humility, a genial confidence — or is just being himself, but judging by his post-round quotes, he doesn’t feel at all uncomfortable in the spotlight as the biggest story in this year’s biggest golf tournament. Sergio, who? Marc Leishman, who? Tiger, who?
“People were very nice to me. And I feel comfortable on the course.”
“I felt a little bit nervous on the first tee,” Guan said. “But I hit a great tee shot and, after that, everything feels comfortable. … I just had fun today. Pretty much fun.”
“The people are nice and some of the times they are cheering for me and it feels great,” said Guan, who was jokingly asked by one journalist if he’d like to meet his eighth-grade daughter.
“I think I will do pretty much the same way,” Guan said of his second-round hopes. “I will try to relax and focus on my game. Hopefully, I can hit a couple of good shots and I will see how things go.”
But it’s not all false modesty. Kid knows what he’s doing, and where he wants to be:
“I think probably not this year,” he said, “but I think I can win it in future.”
After shooting an opening round 73, he sits in 46th place and is exactly at the cut line at one over par. He tees off for his second round at 9:06 pm China time (9:06 am ET).
Do you still need a reminder he’s 14?
His press conference: