When the Masters, The R&A and The Asia Pacific Golf Confederation started the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in 2009, their goal was to develop golf in Asia. It seems the tournament is also doing its fair share to promote the junior game.
Guan Tianlang, a 14-year-old from Guangzhou, China, shot one-under 71 on Sunday for a 15-under total to win the Asia-Pacific Am by a shot. The victory earned him a berth in next April's Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, where Guan will become the youngest player in the tournament's history. At 14 years, five months and 17 days, he will get there far ahead of the previous record-holder, Matteo Manassero, who won the British Amateur in 2009 and played the 2010 Masters as a 16-year-old.
"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."
Guan weighs 125 pounds and was the youngest player in the field at Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi, Thailand, but that didn't stop him from making a clutch up-and-down par at the 18th to seal a one-shot victory over Pan Cheng-tsung of Chinese Taipei, Asia's No. 2 amateur.
Guan, who spends part of every year in California with relatives, was also the youngest winner of the China Amateur Open last November, and became the youngest player to compete on the European tour when he played this year's China Open. The win also gets him into final qualifying for next year's British Open.Photo: Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship