Latest News:  


14-year-old Chinese golf prodigy stuns at Masters

(Global Times)

08:36, April 15, 2013

China's Guan Tianlang tees off on the fourth hole during the third round of the 2013 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, the United States, April 13, 2013. Guan shot a five-over par 77 Saturday. (Photo/Xinhua)

Teenage Chinese golfer Guan Tianlang, 14, on Friday stunned the world after making the cut at a major tournament as the youngest player ever, leading analysts to say this again proved that there are diverse methods of training China's sporting elite outside the traditional State-run system.

Guan, from South China's Guangdong Province, advanced with a three-over par 75 and stood at four-over 148 in the first two rounds of the 2013 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in the US.

"I made the cut. I hope I can continue to create miracles. Thank my parents and all that have helped, supported and cared about me." Guan wrote on Weibo following his advance, the first Chinese player to do so.

Two top Chinese golfers had competed in the Masters before Guan - Zhang Lianwei in 2004 and Liang Wenchong in 2006 - but both missed the cut.

During Friday's match, Guan received a one-stroke penalty at the seventeenth hole because of slow play, becoming the only player to receive that kind of penalty in the long history of the tournament, which sparked controversy among players and audiences. Guan shot a five-over par 77 on Saturday.

Guan's outstanding performance also sparked a buzz online in China among both golf practitioners and the public, with many hailing him as a "prodigy."

"He really did a very good job. He looked relaxed, which indicated his strong psychological quality," said Jiang Shihui, 20, who has been playing golf for six years.

Jiang told the Global Times that she had met Guan in previous amateur matches and was not that surprised at his achievements.

Li Xiaoguang, a former coach for the national golf team who now works for a club, also spoke highly of Guan, who is still a middle school student in Guangzhou. He added however, that is too early to properly appraise his long term prospects.

"He is still a child who will experience big changes both physically and psychologically in the coming years," Li told the Global Times. "And there's a major problem for him - the distance he can hit is not far enough, which will hinder his capability to compete in top games if it can't be overcome."

Just as previous Chinese sports stars generated interest in their respective sports after making outstanding achievements in the international arena, such as tennis player Li Na, Guan's acclaimed debut in the top-notch event is also expected to boost his sport's development among Chinese youth, observers said.

"Undoubtedly, Guan will generate more passion among young people to engage in this sport, which could either be a positive or negative thing," said Yang Bin, a golf commentator at China Central Television, explaining that after being inspired by Guan, some parents might be anxious to achieve quick success and try to take shortcuts, which would be bad for their children's future growth.

"Laying a firm foundation as a youth player is crucial in the long run. Actually, I don't hope Guan becomes a professional player very soon, as he still has a long way to go before developing into a mature master, in areas such as psychology, relationship building and dealing with the press, among others," Yang said.

Golf, considered to be an elite sport due to its high costs, has seen fast development in China in recent years.

Jiang said there are more and more young people joining this field, with many having the opportunity to participate in amateur matches at all levels. She attributed this trend to parents wanting to cultivate their children's independence and elegance as demonstrated by this sport, as well as better economic conditions.

Guan's notable achievement has also proved that Chinese people can be successful in sporting fields through diverse means, other than the rigid State-run sporting system, said Ren Hai, a professor of Olympic studies at Beijing Sport University.

"Sports enthusiasts can achieve success and fulfillment through different channels, such as sports clubs, college training or even individual training supported by the family. It's an encouraging trend in line with China's general development," Ren told the Global Times.

After Li Na won the championship at Roland-Garros in 2011, becoming the country's first tennis player to claim the title in the grand slam, China's decades-long system - which fosters elite athletes through long-term centralized training with the goal of winning gold medals - has been challenged.

"It also set a good example for the public, especially the young generation, to develop an interest in the extensive sport events," Ren said, adding that this interest was now more focused on sports other than those in which Chinese athletes have achieved Olympic success. He also said that many emerging events such as rock climbing are also good options for young people.

Ren also pointed out that the general public and media should maintain a "calm heart" toward Guan's success and try to avoid placing too much pressure on him, which could have the reverse effect.

We recommend:

Beauties in China Fashion Week

Rare photos tell stories of Leslie Cheung

Sexy female stars with long legs

Bikini-clad girls move on Robstep

Beautiful actresses in TV series

Female star: Zhang Li in casual style

"Journey to the West" staged in NW China

Creative sculptures made of vegetables

Ten most beautiful islands on Earth

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:LiXiang、Ye Xin)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Weekly review of military photos

  2. Naval escort taskforce starts visit to Morocco

  3. Lightning scenery in Singapore

  4. H7N9 virus still not spread by people

  5. Explosion hits chemical factory in C. China

  6. Shops in scenic town back in business

  7. 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards ceremony

  8. Justin Bieber holds concert in Netherlands

  9. Speeches and cream on foreign tour

  10. 10th Hong Kong Electronics Fair kicks off

Most Popular


  1. Survivors say SARS lesson mustn't be forgotten
  2. Chinese takeover not threat: German research
  3. Is strong trade data too good to be true?
  4. Hit film triggers discussion on giving birth abroad
  5. Philanthropists donate less as economy slows
  6. New media trend for Chinese language study in US
  7. Follow-up work needed for yuan's going global
  8. Boao Forum for Asia makes China, world closer
  9. Devoted to a life defending nation
  10. Errors in urbanization must be avoided

What’s happening in China

Bird flu takes toll on poultry industry

  1. 3 dead, 7 injured in brewery collapse
  2. Beijing confirms taxi fares to rise
  3. Shanghai seizes 6,000 tonnes of foreign waste
  4. Mother's labor camp lawsuit court hearing begins
  5. War victims' monument targeted by developer