Masters: Tiger

Chinese prodigy wasn

Golfmagic Staff's picture
Golfmagic Staff
Tue, 9 Apr 2013

Guan Tianlang, who had not been born when Woods won his first major title at the 1997 Masters, will re-write the history books this week when he becomes the youngest player in the first major of the year at the tender age of 14.

The Chinese prodigy has been inspired by Woods and has spent the past four weeks practising at Augusta National in preparation for his historic debut.

“It's frightening to think that he was born after I won my first Masters," said the World No.1, bidding to claim his fifth Green Jacket and first major since the 2008 US Open.

 “It's exciting that I have inspired kids to play and not just here in the States but obviously in China and around the world. The game has become global. There are more countries represented on the PGA Tour than ever.

“It's only going to increase, and we're going to have a lot of players from countries that traditionally haven't been into golf that are going to start to play this game at a high level.”

Italian Matteo Manassero became the youngest Masters entrant at the age of 16 in 2010 - winning low amateur thanks to a tie for 36th - but Guan re-wrote the record books when clinching his place via winning last year's Asia Pacific Amateur Championship in Thailand.

Facing the undulating greens of Augusta National and the intense spotlight of a major championship, Guan said making the 36-hole cut will be an achievement this week.

“It's an honour for me to be able to play with the best golfers in the world," said Guan. “To me, the only goal is to enjoy the event and give my best and, of course, if I can make the cut that would be even better.”

But Guan already hungers for the ultimate prize of every elite golfer around the world.

“I have a dream since I was a little boy,” added Guan. “I wish, one day, I can win all four majors in one year. ”

Meanwhile, PGA Tour players Matt Every and Charlie Beljan have taken to Twitter to express disinterest in seeing a number of amateurs tee up in the event, taking up spaces that could be filled by higher ranked players. 

Every wrote: 'Masters should have one amateur spot for the U.S. am champ. Give the rest of am spots to more deserving players who actually have a chance.' Beljan replied: 'can't even get in with a pgatour win. But 14 year olds are welcome.'

Will Guan make the halfway cut?  Share your thoughts in the forum below or on Twitter @Golfmagic



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