China’s teen sensation Guan Tianlang is looking forward to playing as a sponsor’s exemption in next week’s CIMB Classic, the PGA Tour’s only official FedExCup event in Southeast Asia.
“It is an honour to get the exemption to play in the CIMB Classic. It is such a great tournament that I have always wanted to play. I have never played the course before so I am very excited about playing there for the first time,” said Guan, who celebrates his 16th birthday today.
“I know there will be plenty of top golfers from all over the world playing that week, and I hope to be a competition to them and get up there on the leaderboard – the higher the better. I always get myself fully prepared and hope to do all I can to give my best performance. But of course, there are a lot of super talented players on the PGA Tour and you always have so much to learn,” added Guan, who is currently in Melbourne playing in the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship which he won in 2012.
Guan burst onto the world stage at the Masters in 2013 by making the cut at just 14 years old, becoming the youngest ever to do so. Since then, he has played in a number of PGA Tour events, with the Masters still his best finish. In early 2013, he also made the cut in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans but missed the cut in the next several PGA Tour events in which he played.
Since then, Guan has resumed his studies, returned to playing some junior amateur events and also spent some time practicing and working with golf instructor Sean Foley.
“My life is a bit different than normal kids because I have a second life that is golf. However, I think I am having a pretty balanced life since I still go to school and study, I do manage to practice golf as much as I can,” said Guan, who has made four PGA Tour China Series’ starts this season, a tie for 24th at the Cadillac Championship in Beijing his top performance.
“I also enjoy my time as every other kid at my age, I love playing basketball and watching sports games, and I do it all the time with my friends.”