China's Guan Tianlang is a golf prodigy that doesn't come along every day. His performance at the 2013 Masters was historic on multiple levels, most notably making the tournament cut at 14-years old. At some point we are all going to believe in the hype.
Playing on a special sponsor's exemption at the 2013 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Guan fired an impressive even-par 72 in his opening round Thursday. In doing so, Guan further proved that this kid's got some serious game.
After opening with a bogie on his first hole, Guan rattled off a series of pars before dropping another shot on hole No. 6. Sitting a 2-over par, Guan made his first birdie of the day on the very next hole. He would add birdies on hole Nos. 11 and 17 despite one final bogey on hole No. 16.
While I want to be a bit cautious on crowning him too early, Guan is by far the best junior golfer I have seen. Beau Hossler gave me a similar attitude last year at the 2012 US Open at the age of 17; however, what Guan is doing just two years into being a teenager is mind blowing. Sure; he might be hitting hybrids when his peers are hitting 5-irons, but this eighth-grader is hanging tight with players 20 years his senior.
Guan Tianlang begins his second round on Friday at 8:40am EST.