When the Golden Wheel Monk first arrived in China, I think he sincerely believed that he would have no difficult defeating Gwok Jing. The monk seemed a bit concerned about the possibility of having to face the senior Greats, but he went to the Heroes' Conference in Dai Sing Kwan fully confident that he could take whatever Gwok Jing could dish out against him. After their palm clash at the conference, however, the Golden Wheel Monk realized he could *not* be certain that he could take Gwok Jing one-on-one, and spent the rest of ROCH avoiding direct one-on-one confrontations with Gwok Jing.
Could the Golden Wheel Monk's early overconfidence/underestimation of Gwok Jing have been the result of his working with bad/outdated intelligence on his enemy? I wouldn't be surprised. The Golden Wheel Monk *might* have known that Gwok Jing fought East Heretic Wong Yerk See and North Beggar Hung 7 Gung up to 600 moves twenty years earlier (did word of that get out throughout wulin, as far away as Tibet?), but the monk would not have known about Gwok Jing's confrontation against West Poison Au Yeung Fung at the inn in Gong Nam just a few years earlier (the first confirmation that Gwok Jing had attained Greats-level martial arts). Other than that, Gwok Jing had been away from wulin and not involved in many fights over the years since the end of LOCH for wulin to get a real measure of his martial arts level. Fok Do and Dat Yee Ba encountered Gwok Jing at the Chung Yeung Temple a few years earlier, and they witnessed how Gwok Jing dismantled the Big Dipper Formation before thoroughly thrashing the two of them and their cohorts as well. That's the only other data that the Golden Wheel Monk would have had on Gwok Jing.
Did the monk get caught off guard because he expected Gwok Jing's martial arts to be at around the level they were during the Second Mt. Hua Sword Tournament? Was the Golden Wheel Monk errantly relying on intel that was nearly twenty years outdated?