News this week is that a 12 year-old kid qualified for the European Tour's Volvo China Open. Recall, the 13 year-old Guan Tianling earlier qualified for this years Masters. This is likley no Danny Almonte situation because there does not seem to be a real benefit in being younger. Youth can actually hold you back in the case of PGA Tour qualifier Si Woo Kim.
What's going on?
I assume we're all supportive underage of Chinese kids making iPhones. After all, how else would it be possible for us to get such amazing technology for only $200 ... well, and then about $118 per month over the next two years to AT&T ... which is, ummm ...an additonal $2,832(!) ... wait a minute....
I digress, the point is that when it comes to iPhones and lead-based toys for the kids, fine. But when the kids start taking jobs aways from professional golfers, maybe we have to take a closer look. While golfers seems to be focussing on fitness more, there is obviously still room for smooth coordination and calm nerves (or absence of nerves at age 12?). It is doubtful there is something unique about the Chinese and golf physically. It can't simply be simply population numbers either because golf is not that widespread in China. It seems more likely that a good young kid in China will be put in a situation to compete with adults at such a young age. It seems less likely that a 12 to 15 year old male kid in Europe or North America would be put in a situation of playing with adult male professionals. In golf, there is the opportunity to just get lucky/hot for a week.
Before these two kids, we mostly associated the Chinese and golf because of the Taiwanese news animators and what they that did with the Tiger Woods story.
[how the Chinese first came into the golf conciousness]
These animated 'news' videos may seem ubiquitous now (I say they have jumped the shark), but it was Tiger Woods being attacked by Elin that essentially launched the Chinese animated news sensation here in North America. Consider it yet another contribution Tiger has made to society as a whole - hmm, maybe Earl was right.
It will be interesting to see how Guan does at Augusta and the 12 year old Ye Wocheng does come May. Of the two, Ye seems to be tall, have a nice swing and a calm demeaner. Most importantly, he doesn't use a long putter.
Arnold Palmer is not creepy in any way. We all love Arnold and of course his awesome namesake beverage.
The creepiness award this week goes to the golf media. They have been all a twitter and titter simply because SI Swimsuit Model Kate Upton had dinner with Arnold Palmer (it seems Upton's manager's father knows the King). It is impossible to get away from stories and tweets about this. I suppose it is an excuse for guys to then go research this year's SI Swimsuit Issue.
It mostly shows that golf writers approximate the red dawn of Chinese golfers: they are teenage boys. Relax guys.
BEST GOLF NEWS OF THE WEEK, YEAR, DECADE, CENTURY?
Hopefully not lost in March Madness and Tiger at Bay Hill is the top golf news of the week: Tim Herron will be starting a online advice column on GolfDigest.com called "Dear Lumpy" ("from long irons to scrap-booking"!). Regrettably, they do not allow us to embed the videos here yet.
Even so, it looks like a must see when they come out. Click the image below or here to check out the promo.
While it is fun to laugh with Herron, he has not had strong years on the course since 2004 and 2005 (he also had a win in 2006 at Colonial). Lumpy has shown he has the talent in there somewhere with high-level sucess in the past. Herron won Bay Hill in 1999 in a playoff over Tom Lehman and has also won the Honda Classic (in 1996 with Nick Price as runner-up that year). Herron is only 43. In addition to Dear Lumpy, we're also cheering for another run of on-course success.
Herron always seems like one of the good guys out there and this confirms it.