Tianlang Guan, 14, plays like a seasoned veteran
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AUGUSTA, Ga. -- If Tianlang Guan keeps playing like this, he will be shooting his age in the year 2072.
The whole point is that Guan seems capable of performing a whole lot better a whole lot sooner. What the 14-year-old from China showed in shooting 1-over- par 73 Thursday as the youngest Masters participant in history is that he has the right to bigger ambitions.
"I want to win a major and hopefully I can win the four majors in one year," he said, in English, at a news conference.
So there was the first prediction of the Guan Slam. If poise counts, he is way ahead of the game. He didn't look the least nervous, especially on delicate shots around the greens. "I think I got enough things ready for today, and I just feel comfortable, relaxed this morning. So it's good," he said.
Two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw, 61, who was in Guan's group, applauded the teenager's chip shot on No. 6 and his putt from the fringe on 18 that rolled in for a birdie. "I didn't see it, but Ben is a great person and I enjoyed playing with him so far," said Guan, who also played a practice round with Crenshaw on Monday.
"He played more like a veteran. That's what really impresses me. He played like a 28-year-old journeyman who's been around the block and made a ton of cuts. He played a beautiful round of golf," Crenshaw said. "I see nothing but straight up from here. He's a wonderful, mature boy."
After his news conference, Guan sat down at a desk in the media center and ate a sandwich from the center's cafeteria.
So how good can he potentially be in the Masters? "I think probably not this year," he said, "but I think I can win it in the future."