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By Matt McCoy
Last month at the Memorial Tournament's "Legends Luncheon" Jack Nicklaus spoke with admiration about the play of 14-year old Guan Tianlang.
"He's a kid. It's just amazing to me," Nicklaus said when discussing Guan's 58th place finish at the Masters. At the time Nicklaus was asked if he would like to see the Asian Ametuer champion play at the Memorial. "I'd love to have him come here and play, but I'd rather see him finish up eighth grade too."
Well Nicklaus wish was granted...at least the first part. Guan has been granted a sponsor's exemption by the Memorial Tournament's Captain's Club. The teenage star from China will be part of the field of 120 that tees it up at the 38th Memorial one week from Thursday.
"It's a combination of a number of different things that the exemption committee looks at," Memorial Tournament Director Dan Sullivan told WTVN. "They hope with each allowance of an exemption they deliver a player who can come into the field and make a difference. Tianlang has obviously shown that he can compete."
Guan not only made the cut at the Masters, but also at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans. He missed the cut last weekend at the Byron Nelson.
"It's just amazing that he would be able to compete at this level and be somewhat consistant with it," Sullivan said. "He handles himself very well, he's a mature 14-year old. It's kind of a breath of fresh air within the game to see a young kid be able to play at the level he's playing."
To listen to Sullivan discuss Guan's Memorial exemption click HERE:
Can't Beet It
The Indians latest hero, catcher Yan Gomes, found some extra strength Monday when he launched two home runs, including the game winning three-run blast in a 10-8, 10 inning victory over Seattle.
So what gave Gomes the extra muscle to have such a big day? How about beet juice.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the unusual drink was part of Gomes pregame diet.
"I drank a bottle of beet juice," Gomes told reporters when asked what he'd eaten before the game. "I guess I'll keep drinking that."
Maybe the entire Indians team has been drinking beet juice lately. The Tribe was 8-13 after losing game one of a double-header to Kansas City on April 28. They're 18-4 since then and have gone from last place to first, leading Detroit by 2 1/2 games in the American League Central entering a two-game home series with the Tigers.