Two weeks after making the cut at the Masters, 14-year-old Chinese amateur Tianlang Guan made another one in New Orleans and finished 71st. He said his next move is to play a U.S. Open qualifier in two weeks. Is Guan pushing his career too fast, or is this the right next step?
Morfit: I am feeling Guan-fatigue. Doesn't this kid have to go to school at some point? He proved everything he could possibly prove at the Masters. I didn't need to see him play TPC Louisiana.
Bamberger: Oh, no -- he should try. He's not beating himself up. If he gets in, he's earned him place, just as he earned his place at the Masters by winning the Asian Amateur. I'm more leery about him accepting sponsors invitations, at least at this age. But when he earns it, it's all good.
Shipnuck: What the hell, he might as well ride this hot streak as long as possible. I do hope that by fall he goes back to school and resumes life as a teenager but that's doubtful -- he's now a national hero in a culture that deifies achievement. I'm afraid young Guan has crossed the Rubicon and he's going to be playing big-time golf from now on.
Godich: If Guan is good enough to make the cut at the Masters, he has every right to try and qualify for the U.S. Open.
Reiterman: As long as he's having fun and enjoying it, that's all that matters. He's not turning pro anytime soon, so why not soak up the experience and keep making history?
Gorant: I think the Open qualifier is a good step, because it's the Open, but after that he should probably head back home. It's good to get the experience and figure out what you need to work on, but too many trips around out there and he'll start to try playing catch up on the fly and that won't end well. Plus, he'll likely cool off at some point and then his excursion will go from positive experience to doubt-feeding memory.
Passov: I heard Faldo say that he's fine thinking that this particular 14-year-old is OK being out there. I think history proves that too much, too soon, doesn't end up well (see Wie, Michelle) but there are exceptions to every rule. Maybe we found one.
Greg Norman made headlines for telling an Australian newspaper that golf's current drug-testing program is "disgraceful." He cited the Vijay Singh deer-antler case as an example of why blood testing needs to be part of golf's anti-doping program immediately. Is Norman correct?
Bamberger: Absolutely. The Tour is spending millions annually on its drug-testing program that in my opinion is designed not to catch cheats but to give the public the impression that the sport is super clean. Golf is a big-bucks sport in the 21st century. It's not realistic to think there are not people trying to gain an edge through drugs, and taking healthy risks along the way.
Shipnuck: Unfortunately, he's right. I don't think any of us believe PEDs are a rampant problem in golf but if you're going to have a testing program it needs to be done the right way.
Godich: I don't think the PGA Tour policy is going to be confused with the testing done by Major League Baseball and the NFL any time soon.
Ritter: There's no reason golf's testing program can't evolve to include blood testing and all other available technologies, especially since golf will soon be part of the Olympics, which has the most stringent testing in all of sports.
Gorant: At the time it was implemented it was world class. Can't say I know if new testing developments have rendered it weak. Did Greg read the deer antler story? The stuff is useless.
Reiterman: I don't know all the particulars of the drug testing program, except that it's closely modeled after the Olympics, but we all know the way the PGA Tour handles these matters is disgraceful. It's absurd they haven't punished Singh yet.
Morfit: Yes, he is. If the Tour wants to catch anyone, then it will need to add blood-testing. It could up its legitimacy right now by doing something about Singh and making the suspension public.
Passov: Why does it seem like every two months, Greg Norman is quoted with some over-hyped reaction to something in golf?