Chinese Duo Feeling Right at Home

Defending champion Guan Tianlang was full of praise for the Garden Course at Nanshan International Golf Club, venue for this week’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, following his first look at the 7,006-yard layout in China’s northerly Shandong province.

Guan, who made headlines around the world after a stunning performance at this year’s Masters Tournament where he became the youngest player in history to make the cut at a major championship, enjoyed an early practice round Tuesday with compatriots Dou Zecheng and Zhang Jin and was bullish about his hopes of retaining the trophy he won in such fine style at Amata Spring in Thailand 12 months ago.

“It’s a very good challenge and the conditions are great,” said Guan, who turns 15 on Friday, the day of the championship’s second round. “It’s a little bit cooler here than where I’m from, and it’s playing a little long, but the greens are great and I’m feeling good about my game.”

The Guangzhou native, whose list of records includes becoming the youngest player since 1900 to make the cut at a PGA Tour event when he achieved the feat at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans two weeks after the Masters, said that playing on home soil will be a definite boon.

“I think the Chinese players will have a bit of an advantage this week with the support we’ll get out there and I hope we all play well,” said Guan. “My goal is to try and keep the trophy in China.”

Guan’s comments about the undulating course were echoed by 16-year-old Dou, who shot to prominence by making the cut at the China Open in May, becoming the youngest player in the tournament’s history to do so. Instantly recognizable thanks to his choice of headgear – he eschews the traditional baseball-style hat for a wide-brimmed bucket hat – Beijing-based Dou is a frequent visitor to Nanshan and believes this week’s winner will be the player who makes the most out of the shorter par fours.

“The long holes here are playing quite difficult, so you’re really trying to get away with pars there and then try and make some birdies on the shorter holes,” said Dou, who reached the quarter-finals of this year’s US Amateur Public Links at Laurel Hill in Virginia. “But the course is in really good shape and the greens are playing very nice. If you can get the putter working you can make a [low] score.”

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LONGKOU CITY, China – Pan Cheng-tsung of Chinese Taipei pictured at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at the Nanshan International Golf Club, Garden Course on October 22, 2013. Picture by David Paul Morris/AAC.
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中国球手窦泽成 感到有主场之利

力争卫冕冠军的关天朗对南山国际高尔夫球会的翠园球场赞口不绝。 这个星期的亚太业余锦标赛将会在中国山东省里7千零6码的球场举行。

关天朗在今年美国大师赛里成为史上最年轻的选手打进决赛, 他惊人的表现成为世界各地的话题。 他在星期二跟队友窦泽成和张进一起练习, 他希望保持最佳状态能够卫冕去年在泰国阿玛塔温泉乡村俱乐部夺得的冠军。

他说:「这是一个很好的挑战和这里的环境很好。」关天朗在第二辆的比赛当天, 将会是他的15岁的生日,他续说:「这里比我来的地方冷,需要打得久一点, 但是这个球场很美, 我觉得很舒服。」

来自广州的关天朗, 已创下不同的记录, 包括自1900年以来最年轻的球员在美巡赛中晋身决赛。 在美国大师赛之后,他也打进新奥尔良精英赛决赛。 这次, 作为东道主的他必定会更有优势。

他表示:「我相信中国选手在这个星期的比赛有一定的优势, 因为公众对我们的支持, 我希望我们能够发挥好表现。」他最近卖了 令他在曼谷和奥古斯塔取得好成绩的腹部推杆, 而换了另外一支传统长度的推杆。 他续说:「我的目标是尽量在中国保卫这个奖杯。」

关天朗和他的队友, 16岁的窦泽成都觉得这个球场起伏很多。窦泽成在五月的中国公开赛一举成名,跻身最后两轮,成为该赛事有史以来晋身最后两轮的最年轻球员。球场上他特别容易辨认,因为他不像一般球手戴传统的棒球帽,而是戴着一顶宽边的渔夫帽。居住在北京的窦泽成经常到访南山,他相信这个星期亚太业余锦标赛的冠军,需要在距离较短的四个洞有好表现。

窦泽成说:「这里的洞都很远, 有点难度, 所以要尽量以标准杆来完成, 在距离比较近的球洞抓住小鸟的机会。」他在今年美国业余赛大进身准决赛, 他续说:「球场的质素很好, 草地也很漂亮。 如果在推杆上有好的发挥, 就会取得好分数。」

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LONGKOU CITY, China – Pan Cheng-tsung of Chinese Taipei pictured at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at the Nanshan International Golf Club, Garden Course on October 22, 2013. Picture by David Paul Morris/AAC.
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