It's a date for Tom and Tianlang

14 year old Chinese prodigy Guan Tianlang might not have played as well as he would have liked at this week's Emirates Australian Open but he gained a lot of experience and a new friend and admirer in Tom Watson.

Guan missed the cut at the Lakes but after a potentially confidence shattering opening round of 82 he bounced back with a round of 70 on Friday, a round which included four birdies.

His effort on Friday was only two short of the best round of the day and further emphasised the amazing talent the only recently turned 14 year old is.

On Sunday Guan waited around as he watched Tom Watson finish his final round of 69 an hour before play was called off and then reconfirmed his arrangement made earlier in the week for the pair to play a practice round together at Augusta National in early April.

Guan earned the right to become the youngest player ever to play the Masters when he won the Asia Pacific Amateur Championship in Thailand last month.

In an endeavour to get as much help in his lead up to an event at which he will be under the most intense of scrutiny, Guan sort out the help of Watson.

"1 o'clock on Tuesday," said Watson when reconfirming their practice time.

Guan wanted to know if Watson had any advice in advance of their scheduled game together to which Watson replied, "yes play plenty of practice rounds".

As they p[arted from each other Watson also had a further word of advice. "Concentrate on getting straight A's."

Watson was of course referring to the fact that Guan will be returning to school when he heads back to Shenzhen tomorrow.

Watson need not have worried however as Guan is proving to be successful both on the fairways and in the classroom. He has a thirst for knowledge as his pursuit of advice from one of the game's eldest and most respected statesmen of the modern era would suggest.

Bruce Young
About The Author : Bruce Young

A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of and background in the game of golf comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.

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