'Young Tiger' is ready to roar

Updated: 2011-10-19 07:53

By Wu Ying (China Daily)

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BEIJING - Charles Dickens wrote that a boy's story is the best ever told.

Twelve-year-old Guan Tianlang added another chapter to his own at the weekend.

Although Guan only finished sixth at the three-day Fangshan-Changyang China Amateur Golf Championship at the California County Golf Club in Beijing, his tale continues to grow.

Before the amateur championship, this year saw Guan claim the titles at two stops of the China Amateur Golf Futures Tour, in Zhuhai and Haining respectively. He also lifted the top prize at the 2011 World Junior Championship.

Guan picked up golf clubs when he was six years old and since then he has bagged numerous titles and is acclaimed as a golf genius and heralded by the media as China's "Young Tiger".

However, the youngster seems cool and composed despite the flood of compliments. When asked about how he feels being compared to the legendary Tiger Woods, Guan said: "I am OK with the nickname. You can call me that."

Guan's biggest advantages are his consistency and maturity, which seem way beyond his age.

People who are curious about how the 12-year-old always oozes confidence on the course may be further impressed after hearing his explanation: "I am actually like this all the time."

The possible future of Chinese golf also brings his unerring concentration to the classroom. He believes there is no shortcut in study, and just listens carefully to the teachers. He hopes to study in the United States, where a stronger golf environment should enhance his skills.

Golf is not the be-all and end-all for Guan. He is interested in many other sports like basketball, and his face lights up when he talks about playing pick-up games with friends at school.

But his greater skill lies with a much smaller ball.

The story of Guan is already impressive; the coming chapters could be even better.