Was it worth it?
Guan gave up the chance to qualify for this year’s US Open after accepting an invitation from Jack Nicklaus to play in this week’s Memorial Tournament in Ohio. Despite a solid even par first round that left him tied for 41st, his 7-over-par 79 on Friday left him four shots away from playing the weekend, tied for 90th in a field of 120.
When the greatest player of all time gives you a personal invitation to his tournament, it’s pretty hard to say no (I would imagine), but Guan gave up his previously stated aim of qualifying for his second major of the year.
In fact, even if had Guan had made the cut, he could still have played in sectional qualifying: he was scheduled to play in Texas on Monday, but USGA officials offered to switch him to Ohio for ease of travelling. However, Guan declined, saying he no longer felt he could attempt both.
It seems a strange decision given that he would have had a better than average chance of qualifying, though perhaps he is a stickler for rigorous preparation and/or set routines – no bad thing in golf, of course.
Bottom line: were a couple of rounds with world no. 216 Justin Bolli and fellow amateur Peter Williamson worth giving up a shot to play at the US Open in just over 10 days time? As much as I would have wanted him to roll the dice, the safer choice probably works out better for him in the long run…
Agree or not? Please leave thoughts in the comments!
Speaking of comments, one final mention on Guan for now: Yahoo Sports’ Adam Fonseca’s Is Guan Tianlang Actually Hurting Professional Golf? is a terrible article – poorly written, demonstrably wrong premises – but it’s worth a look for the comments at the end.