DUBLIN, OHIO (AP) - Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old Chinese amateur, continues to add to his scrapbook of incredible feats.
The eighth-grader shot an even-par 72 on Thursday in the opening round of the Memorial Tournament on one of the toughest and most respected courses on the PGA Tour, Muirfield Village.
“I think I played a pretty good round today,” he said. “It’s a pretty tough course. The greens got pretty bumpy in the afternoon.”
Playing in one of the final groups of the day, Guan turned in 2 under and bogeyed two of the final three holes.
He burst onto the scene in April when he became the youngest player ever to make the cut at a major championship while finishing 58th at the Masters. He also made the cut in New Orleans.
“After the Masters and a couple of PGA Tour events, I guess I got more comfortable with it,” he said when asked how a teenager could avoid being overwhelmed. “It’s helped a lot the first couple of events I played.”
He has no plans to leave early, either.
“A couple under would be great,” he said of his goal in the second round. “I’m planning to make the cut if I hit a couple under.”
FAST AND FURIOUS: The club logo at Muirfield Village is not a greenskeeper squeegeeing a putting surface.
In 146 rounds over the last 37 years coming into this year’s Memorial Tournament, 39 have been delayed, interrupted or canceled by inclement weather. That’s about one round per year.
Despite a cool spring, the course is relatively fast and dry _ just the way tournament founder and host Jack Nicklaus prefers it.
The greens have been like, well, lightning.
“The greens are really tough,” said Michael Thompson, who put up an early 69. “You have to be careful on the downhillers.”
Most tournaments, professional tours and courses use a measuring device called a stimpmeter to determine the speed of greens. According to the U.S. Golf Association, Edward S. Stimpson, the 1935 Massachusetts Amateur champion, invented a device to determine a number which represents the relative speed of a ball on a putting green.