Our man in the ground in Tianjin goes behind the scenes of the Volvo China Open....
Guan yourself son!
We thought things were getting a little bit ridiculous when Matteo Manassero burst onto The European Tour scene aged 16, but this week in China saw the record of youngest player on The European Tour reset by Chinese wonder kid Guan Tian-lang. Aged just 13 years and 177 days. The kid understandably had a few bad holes over Pete Dye’s 7,600 monster of a golf course as he missed the halfway cut, but it didn’t stop his playing partner, Marcus Fraser waxing lyrical about the ability and determination contained in Guan’s slight 5 foot 6 inch frame. “I couldn’t believe I was playing with a 13 year old – I am old enough to be his dad,” laughed the 33 year old Aussie. “It’s pretty scary actually – he was very impressive for someone who is 13 and a half years old. He hits it long off the tee and hits a lot of very good shots. His putting is good and he has good routines. You can see he is very competitive too which you need to be. If he keeps on the path he is on then he can be a great player. To be that age and be able to play at this level is amazing. I felt lucky to be out there with him because if he keeps going he will be in the top ten in the world pretty comfortably.”
The Twitter King turns Weibo Warrior……
Ian Poulter is arguably the most prolific tweeter on Tour. The Englishman’s engaging style on the social networking site genuinely does take his fans behind the scenes of life on Tour has brought him over 1 million ‘followers’. Not one to miss a trick, Poults is now also a Weibo Warrior. Weibo, you see dear readers, is China’s equivalent to Twitter and Mr Poulter, a self-made marketing and publicity master has quite happily joined the Chinese revolution as he looks to further raise his already formidable Asian profile……
Parlez vous Français? Non!
You don’t find too many people in the world who can’t speak their own language, but A Slice of the Action stumbled upon one on Friday when we caught up with Monsieur Victor Dubuisson. After a fine second 68 to move to seven under par for the tournament and into the top ten, we asked the youngster to speak to the European Tour News TV crew. After doing an interview in English, the TV crew asked Victor to speak in French so that they could send an interview back to his native land. “In French? Really?” he asked of a slightly bemused interviewer. “I can’t remember how to speak French – I have been living in London for over a year and don’t what I’m saying when I speak French!” What’s cockney rhyming slang for ‘ascend les viuex pommes et poivres’?
Quote of the week…..
And the winner is…..Anthony Wall! The big Englishman had A Slice of the Action in stiches on Friday afternoon following his second round. Anthony’s regular caddie was struck down by illness before the tournament began this week, meaning he had to employ one of the extremely capable young lady caddies from the Binhai Lake Golf Club. Having noted his new caddie’s efficiency out on the course, A Slice of the Action was quick to point out that she was running after him at one point to keep pace. Wall’s reply was as fast as it was sharp: “Fancy that eh? A woman running after me…..I’ve been married for years but that’s the first time that’s ever happened to me!”
Quote of the week: the runner-up…..
We have to award second place to our defending champion Nicolas Colsaerts. The Belgian, perhaps the most laid back professional golfer in the game’s history, came into the media centre for a press conference after taking the clubhouse lead following his second round 67. After going over his round and discussing his chances of defending his title, he was asked by a Chinese journalist: “Last year after your win you said you were going to go home and propose to your girlfriend. Did you do that and if so are you now married?” Colsaerts was quick to flash a grin before replying: “No man, that didn’t quite go to plan. I might come across as a simple guy but I’m pretty complicated when it comes to that stuff! I’m single these days……”