AVONDALE — Crowd favorite Guan Tianlang will stick around for the weekend at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
The 14-year-old Chinese phenom fired a 3-under-par 69 on Friday at TPC Louisiana and finished on the cutline at 3-under 141 after 36 holes. He made golf history two weeks ago when he became the youngest player to make a cut at the Masters.
“Making the cut is one of my goals,’’ he said. “I’m having fun these (past) couple of days, and I hope to play my best and go a little further into the weekend.’’
Tianlang trails leader Lucas Glover by nine shots entering Saturday’s third round. While his chances of winning are slim, where he finishes seems of little importance to fans who have taken a shine to him.
He appears to attract all ages, young and old — including his parents, who were in his gallery Friday.
“I feel OK with them watching me,’’ he said. “It makes it a little easier, but it’s still difficult to play on this course.’’
Tianlang opened second-round play at even-par, quickly moved to 1-under with a birdie on his first hole (No. 10), gave it back at No. 11, then sank a pivotal 17-foot for birdie at the 346-yard, par-4 16th.
He posted birdies at Nos. 1 and 4, cracking par for the first time of his brief two-event career on the PGA Tour. It also marks his lowest round on tour.
What’s in a name?
Unheralded Morgan Hoffmann, who finds himself in third place after 36 holes at 9-under 135, took it upon himself to right a wrong Friday.
When Hoffmann’s caddie, Ryan Rue, picked up his bib Thursday, he discovered the player’s last name was misspelled — it lacked the second “n.” That oversight happened once before: at the Puerto Rico Open in early March, when Hoffmann tied for 14th and pocketed $61,250.
Rue wore the bib with the wrong spelling in Thursday’s opening round, when Hoffmann carded a 66. Rue corrected the mistake before Friday’s round of 69, using a black marker to put the second “N” on his bib.
Hoffmann stands at 9-under 135.
“I like to have my named spelled right,’’ said Hoffmann, a 23-year-old who resides in Jupiter, Fla. “People make a common mistake. Most people don’t understand that there’s two ‘N’s in a German name. It happens. Hopefully, one day it won’t happen.’’
Hoffmann is doing his best in New Orleans to make sure golf fans know his name.
“We’ll see,’’ he said. “We’ll see when the weekend’s over.’’
Jesper Parnevik and Steve Marino withdrew. Parnevik called it quits after tweaking his back on his second shot on No. 7, his 16th hole of the day. Marino withdrew after shooting 80 on Thursday. ... The Zurich Classic designated Saturday as “Blue Out’’ day as part of Autism Awareness month. Players and fans are encouraged to wear blue and join World Golf Hall of Famer and four-time major champion Ernie Els and his foundation “Els for Autism’’ in showing support for those affected by autism spectrum disorders.
The last word
“Some people owe me a beer, and some people hate me. What are you going to do?’’
Luke List, who finished birdie-par on his last two holes to finish at 3-under 141 and bump the cut line one stroke, eliminating 22 players from weekend play
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