Guan hopes to rekindle winning ways at Amata Spring

Mon 01 Dec 2014

Guan hopes to rekindle winning ways at Amata Spring

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Chonburi, Thailand, December 1: Guan Tianlang will return to the course that put him on the path to golfing stardom next week when he tees off in the fourth edition of the Thailand Golf Championship.
In 2012, the Chinese phenom won the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship after four fabulous rounds at the award-winning Amata Spring Country Club, which hosts the Asian Tour's US$1 million event from December 11-14, to earn a coveted spot in the following year's Masters Tournament.
Then aged just 14, the Guangzhou schoolboy wowed the golfing world by going on to make the cut on the hallowed turf at Augusta National, becoming the youngest player in major championship history to do so.
Joining Guan, now 16, in the world-class field in Thailand is his compatriot Wu Ashun, as well as defending champion Sergio Garcia, two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson, reigning US Open champion Martin Kaymer, Ryder Cup stars Lee Westwood and Victor Dubuisson and South African legend Ernie Els.
"My feelings for Amata Spring are very special," said Guan, who will be competing in Thailand for the first time since that Asia-Pacific Amateur win. "I love this course and it will be very exciting to play with Wu, my big ‘brother’ from China, as well as all the other stars from around the world."
At the forefront of Guan's mind is a place at next year's Open Championship, which will be held at St Andrews in July. The Thailand Golf Championship is part of the Open Qualifying Series and a total of four places at the Home of Golf will be up for grabs at Amata Spring for the highest placed finishers who haven't already qualified for golf's oldest major.
The Open Qualifying Series has replaced the R&A's International Final Qualifying for The Open, which was introduced in 2004 and involved standalone 36-hole qualifying events across five continents.
"I expect it's going to be a great week at the Thailand Golf Championship and I'll need to be at my best if I am going to get the chance to play in another major championship," said Guan.
Guan's fellow countryman Wu is another who will be making his debut at the Thailand Golf Championship – and like Guan he has wonderful memories of the Amata Spring layout, having qualified for The Open on two occasions when it hosted International Final Qualifying.
"It's my first time to play at the Thailand Golf Championship, but I know the course very well," said Wu, who has two Japan Golf Tour event titles to his credit. "Amata Spring really matches my game. I'm playing well and am confident I can have a strong performance and qualify for The Open for the third successive time."
Ends.
About the Asian Tour
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