On Sunday, Chinese 14-year-old Guan Tianlang won the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Thailand and will become the youngest golfer to play at the U.S. Masters. Guan won the invitation to the 2013 Masters at Augusta with an even par 71 to win by one stroke from Taiwan’s Pan Chung-Tseng at Amata Spring Country Club. He cemented this win by making a 5-foot par putt on the final hole.
Let’s put this all in perspective. Guan is believed to be the youngest male to play in a major championship. This 125 pound teen has only been 14 for all of 2 weeks and is still in middle school.
“I’m so excited. I’m really happy to become the youngest player at the Masters and looking forward to going there,” Guan said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen there, but I know I just want to do well.” He later elaborated on his goals when he sent out a tweet saying, “I want to win the US Masters at Augusta”.
Now, of course, we all know of the long-running tradition of amateurs at The Masters. No one expects them to win, but even in this field, Guan will be somewhat of a novelty. Many hope that his presence will help to promote the sport in China; though there has been growth in China, it still very much remains a hobby of the elite. We are slowly seeing rewards from the growth of golf in the country. Farrell Evans of ESPN notes, “In June, Shanshan Feng became the first Chinese national to win on the LPGA Tour at the LPGA Championship.”
Most commenters are excited to watch this young star this coming April. Steve Elkington, however, made an interesting point on Twitter:
So what do you think Rockheads? Let me know in the comments below!