Category: Guan Tianlang

September 30, 2013

Guan, 14, to challenge Tiger, Rory in China skills event

Posted at 1:15 PM by Cameron Morfit

Tiger_guan_640_apTiger Woods and Guan Tianlang during a practice round at the 2013 Masters (AP Photo).

Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old Chinese prodigy who made the cut at the Masters and subsequently accepted a handful of sponsors' exemptions on the PGA Tour, is back in the spotlight with the news that he will take on No. 1 Tiger Woods and slumping Rory McIlroy in a skills challenge in Hainan, China, Oct. 28, according to Channel News Asia.

As is often the case, Guan will be a sideshow to the main event, a match between Woods, who is coming off a five-win season, and McIlroy at the Blackstone Course at Mission Hills Haikou, on the Chinese island of Hainan.

As part of the showpiece, the "skills challenge" features the three players hitting shots at three targets at a distance of 50, 100 and 125 yards.

In a press release, Woods said of the talented Guan: "I'm really excited about his future and what he's doing for the profile of golf in China, so it's great he'll be a part of The Match at Mission Hills."

Guan added: "It will be nice to see Tiger again because he has been very supportive, such as when we practiced together at this year's Masters.

"I haven't played with Rory before, but we had a nice chat at the Masters and he also offered me some good advice.

"Both Tiger and Rory achieved a lot of success when they were teenagers, so I always appreciate it whenever they offer advice."

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April 18, 2013

Masters star Guan Tianlang sticking to his routine in New Orleans

Posted at 8:12 PM by Mark Dee

Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old breakout star of this year's Masters, is sticking with his routine in preparation for play at next week's Zurich Classic of New Orleans. That means practicing, studying and, yes, grinding out shots in the same deliberate manner that got him slapped with a controversial slow play penalty at Augusta.

Things have been moving fast for Guan since then, and he expects his on-course pace to pick up at New Orleans as well. "I think my routine is not too bad," he said Wednesday. "It's just the time it takes to make a decision. The wind at Augusta swirls, so [it was hard] to make decisions in a quick time."

Good that one thing will stay the same for Guan, who thrust himself into international prominence last week by becoming the youngest player to ever make the cut in the Masters. He hasn't been home to Guangzhou, China in almost a month, and doesn't have firm plans yet for his return. Despite traveling with his parents, Guan admitted he was "a little bit homesick" on Wednesday.

But this extended trip hasn't been a vacation for the eighth grader. According to his mother, Guan is keeping up with his studies, and has done his homework every day except during the competition rounds of the Masters. For the now-famous 14-year-old, it's all part of the routine: And why not? "There's Wi-Fi in the Crow's Nest," he said.

(Photo: John W. McDonough/Sports Illustrated)

April 16, 2013

Masters sensation Tianlang Guan to play PGA Tour event

Posted at 6:45 PM by Mike Walker

Guan_300After making the cut and finishing as low amateur at the Masters tournament, 14-year-old Chinese golf sensation Tianlang Guan is going to try his luck in a regular PGA Tour event.

Guan has accepted a sponsor's exemption to play the Zurich Classic, which begins April 25 at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, outside New Orleans, according to

Tianlang Guan, the 14-year-old from China who thanks to a remarkable display of poise and shot-making was the low amateur at the Masters on Sunday, has accepted a sponsor's exemption to the 2013 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

“The Fore!Kids Foundation, host organization of the Zurich Classic, is all about benefiting youth,” said Steve Worthy, CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation, whose group puts on the Zurich Classic. “Tianlang Guan represents the aspirations of millions of young golfers and golf fans of all ages worldwide.”

Guan qualified for the Masters in November, when he won the Asia-Pacific Amateur. At age 14, he was the youngest player to ever play in the Masters, two years younger than Matteo Manassero was in 2010. He is also the youngest player to ever make a cut on the PGA Tour.

However, Guan wasn't the youngest player to ever play on the PGA Tour. Don Dunkelberger was 11 years old when he competed in the Chicago Open. (He withdrew after shooting 103 in the opening round). Michelle Wie was 14 years old when she played the 2004 Sony Open. Wie shot 68/72, missing the cut by one.

Photo: Tianlang Guan accepts trophy for Low Amateur at the 2013 Masters (Fred Vuich/SI).

April 14, 2013

Gary Player's Diary: The Most Impressive Feat I've Ever Seen

Posted at 10:22 PM by

“It’s sad someone had to lose.” You’ll hear that a lot after the remarkable ending we saw Sunday at Augusta. Given the way that Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera played, it’s more than sad. It’s cruel. That’s why I’ve always been opposed to sudden-death playoffs. When two men tie, they should hold the trophy jointly. When there’s a tie in the Kentucky Derby, they don’t go back and run a 50-yard dash. When there’s a tie in the World Heavyweight Championship, they don’t go back and box for ten seconds. A golf tournament is advertised as 72 holes. So how can you settle it over just one? I’m sorry, it’s too cruel. Especially the way they played!

These tournaments mean so much, personally and professionally. I’ve been second many, many times, and nobody will remember any of my runner-up finishes. Angel Cabrera tied for first, but years on we’ll forget. That’s the tragedy: He was a fraction of a fraction of a percentage point away from winning -- which came in extra holes -- and no one will remember. Golf is a tough game. Look at Tiger Woods. He lost by four shots, and he was basically penalized by four strokes on a single hole, for hitting a perfect shot. If his third shot on the par-5 15th on Friday does not hit the pin, then it does not ricochet into the water, and he might have tied for the Masters lead after 72 holes, at 9-under. That’s how exacting our game is.

Still, I’m thrilled for Adam Scott’s first major victory. A golf swing that beautiful deserves a green jacket. More than that, he is a thorough gentleman. Adam played for me on three Presidents Cup teams, and I can say that he’s a wonderful young man. It was devastating to watch him blow the British Open last year. That’s a terrible thing to live with. People will say that it only took him two majors to get over it, but that misses the point. It’s the following months, days and minutes that are always with you, not just in the majors. I’m glad he has that burden off his back. He’s carried it long enough. He’s a terrific young man to be called Masters champion.

When I look back at this week, I’ll remember Scott for his victory and for bringing the first green jacket home to the great sporting nation of Australia. But he’ll have to share the stage with Guan Tianlang. What Guan did this week is the most impressive thing I’ve seen in my 60 years in professional golf, both in terms of his play and his demeanor: A boy of 14 making the cut -- despite that dreaded penalty stroke for slow play on Friday, and handling it like someone three times his age! It heartens me to know that the future of golf is in such hands. I’ve used the same word all week to describe it, and I’ll say it one last time: It’s a miracle what that boy did. Then again, so much at Augusta is.


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April 12, 2013

Gary Player's Diary: What Must China Think of Penalty?

Posted at 9:21 PM by


I’ve seen a lot of great shots and great rounds at Augusta. In 1978, I closed in 30 and shot 64 to win the Masters by one. But that doesn’t compare to what Tianlang Guan is doing at the age of 14. Mark my words: We are witnessing the most historic moment golf has experienced in my lifetime. And giving him the slow-play penalty on Friday is one of the saddest things I’ve seen in golf. When I heard, I prayed that he would make the cut. I am thrilled he did, because having him play the weekend will do miracles for the game. Golf’s popularity is as low as it’s ever been. Fewer and fewer people are playing the game. This will encourage young boys and girls around the world to play the game. Imagine it! Everyone will benefit -- courses, manufacturers, some day even fans.

Now, you cannot criticize the rule. It’s in the book for a reason. I believe the officials when they say Guan broke it. But you’ve got to be consistent. If you had a stopwatch, you could time many players in the last 20 years who have been well over their time but have not been penalized. Slow-playing tournament leaders have not been penalized. If the rule is applied arbitrarily, it is meaningless. The tragedy is that this could cause a stir. Imagine what the Chinese are going to think?

Enough about the penalty, though. I don’t want to diminish the great golf that’s being played. The leaderboard is spectacular. It’s wonderful to see the seasoned pros playing so well. Like Freddie Couples, who I think has the best swing in the field. Bernhard Langer is making a good showing. These Champions Tour players are so much better than the press and the fans understand. The quality of play is only a fraction below the PGA Tour. Maybe more people will realize that now.

Plenty of other veterans are also playing remarkably well. Jim Furyk is up there. He recovered nicely, even though he made a mess of 15. And Angel Cabrera had an electric finish to his round. Five birdies on the back nine! Some guys have Augusta in their blood.

Experience was so important today, because Augusta in the morning was a very different course than Augusta in the afternoon. It was a much tougher course in the morning. Think of it: When Novak Djokavic is playing Roger Federer, it could be windy in the morning or calm in the afternoon -- it doesn’t matter. They are playing against each other in the same conditions. Today, the guys who teed off early got a bit of rain, a bit of wind. They were playing their entire round off of wet grass. It’s hard to spin it off of wet grass, so your ball jumps when you’re hitting into greens. Now, look at the afternoon. The sun comes out. The course dries up and gets shorter. You can spin the ball and fire at the flag, and the green will hold the shot. When the pins are tucked in the corners, it makes all the difference in the world. The course is easier, but both scores count the same. That’s what makes tournament golf so damn tough.

And if you look at the second-round pin placements, you can tell that the members wanted the course to play tough. They were obviously upset that 32 guys shot under par on Thursday. Chairmen of the club have told me that they want the winning score around 280. In my experience, they are able to program that pretty well -- better than any other place we play. It’s like they can turn the course on and off using the pins and the turf. I expect the players will find some tough conditions over the weekend.

I also expect the leaders are going to have to keep their eyes on Tiger Woods. I fancied Tiger to win it at the beginning of the week, and I still do. He looks as focused as I’ve ever seen him. We all know what that Tiger is capable of.

By Friday night, it’s too late to change. You’ve got to stick to your plan. Some guys like to go out and have a couple of drinks. I liked to be on my own. A bit of music, an early dinner and a hot bath followed by a cold one. I liked to get my mind off of my game for a while and then just go play the next day. That feeling that the great ones have -- knowing when to attack -- you can’t find that on Friday night. It’s an instinct, a gift. You either have it or you don’t. We’ll know soon enough who does.


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Photo: John W. McDonough/Sports Illustrated


Duval says Tiger, Furyk, Harrington are slow players

Posted at 6:27 PM by Mike Walker

He named names!

2001 British Open champion David Duval took to Twitter on Friday after Tianling Guan was penalized one stroke for slow play during the second round of the Masters. Duval said it was unfortunate that Guan received the penalty because there are many other slow-playing professional golfers, including Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk.

Guan's penalty might have caused the 14-year-old from China to miss the cut. He shot 73 on Thursday and 75 on Friday, leaving him at 4-over for the tournament. The top 50 and all players within 10 strokes of the lead play the weekend.














Once ranked No. 1 in the world, Duval, 41, is not in the field at the Masters this week; he's missed the cut in all four of his PGA Tour starts this season.

14-year-old Guan slapped with slow-play penalty at Masters

Posted at 3:24 PM by Alan Bastable

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tianlang Guan, the 14-year-old Chinese sensation who this week became the youngest-ever Masters participant, was assessed a one-stroke penalty for slow play in the second round of the 2013 Masters.

Guan finished his round with a three-over 75, leaving him at 4-over-par for the tournament, a stroke outside the projected cutline at the time. [Update: Guan ended the day inside the cut line and will play the weekend.]    

According to reports, officials gave Guan a warning on the 13th hole, before issuing the penalty four holes later, at the par-4 17th. Guan parred that hole, but was forced to sign for a bogey 5.

The last player to be assessed a slow-play penalty at a major championship was Steve Lowery at the 2004 PGA Championship; the PGA Tour hasn't penalized a player for slow play since Glen Day at the 1995 Honda Classic.

"This isn't going to wind up pretty," said Ben Crenshaw, Guan's playing partner for the first two rounds. "I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry this happened.

"I'm sick. He's 14 years old."

Augusta National released a statement about the Guan penalty on Friday afternoon:

Tianlang Guan was assessed a one-shot penalty for violation of Rule 6-7 of the Rules of Golf and the Tournament’s Pace of Play Policy. His group, which included Ben Crenshaw and Matteo Manassero, was deemed out of position on No. 10. Guan began being timed on Hole 12 and received his first warning on Hole 13 after his second shot. In keeping with the applicable rules, he was penalized following his 2nd shot on the 17th hole when he again exceeded the 40 second time limit by a considerable margin.

(Photo: Getty Images)

April 11, 2013

Gary Player's Diary: 'How I Out-Drove Jack and Arnie'

Posted at 8:37 PM by


I woke up just past five this morning to be the first person on the practice tee. The sky was still half dark, and I had hours to go before my 7:45 tee-time along side Jack and Arnold. As honorary starters, we would only hit one shot, but I wanted to be perfectly loose. It was so serene, out there before the crowds. That special Augusta peace. Turf so lush you’d swear it’s artificial. Warm water in the range buckets. The sun cutting through the pines. You have to wonder how a place like this is possible, seeing it all like that.

I wanted to outdrive them. That’s why I was out so early. You could bet Jack and Arnold wanted to out-drive me, too. It’s great fun, teeing off next to two people I grew up with. But there’s always a competitive spirit when the three of us get together. We’re terrific friends, and we needle each other all the time. You can’t turn that off. And I’ve got to tell you, I couldn’t believe how many people came out to see us tee off. As I came over from the range, there were droves of people, thousands, all lined up and cheering. Like when we were going head-to-head years ago. Arnold’s 83, so he can’t expect to get the distance that Jack and I do. He doesn’t have the strength. But he opened with a beautiful shot, right down the middle. I hit mine fairly well; I didn’t quite catch it, but I knocked into the fairway fine enough. Jack caught his solid, but he hooked it into the pine needles and it skipped and rolled into the trees.

Afterward, Jack turned to me. “Well,” he said, “Looks like I had the longest drive.”

“No!” I told him, “Your drive ended up in the pine needles! You know how much run you get over there. You’ve got to hit the fairway to count for longest drive!” He had a great laugh. When it comes to longest hit, I won this one -- ask anyone who was there. You’ve got to hit the fairway.

As for the golf, I must say I’ve never seen better conditions for scoring than Thursday. Not a breath of wind, the course is soft, the greens are holding. Augusta has never played easier in the 56 years I’ve known it.

That doesn’t mean I’m not impressed with the golf. I was very impressed with what Rickie Fowler did, double-bogeying the first hole, taking another double-bogey and still shooting 68. That's very tough to do and he must be very tough mentally.

Of course, it’s marvelous to see Freddie Couples at four under par. Freddie has the swing that every weekend golfer should try to emulate, and every teacher should try to teach. If you can move like him, you’ll play well for a long, long time.

Then there’s Guan Tianliang. I was anxious to see if he would break 80. I said this morning, if he could shoot 76 at 14 years of age that would be an unbelievable score. If he could break 76, it would be the round of the day. Just him being here is a golfing miracle. And to shoot 73! After a good round at Augusta, I found it so difficult to calm down. The next morning, I forced myself to do everything in slow motion when preparing for my round. I spoke slower. I put my shoes on slower. I drove to the club slower, I took my first practice swings slower. All just to stay steady, to keep my mind composed. I hope Guan does the same. I cannot wait to see how he plays tomorrow.

As for the rest of them, it’s only Thursday. I never, ever let the first round influence my thinking. There’s no such thing as a lead at the Masters until you hole the last put on the last hole. Then you have permission to celebrate.

--Gary Player

Photo: Matt Slocum/Associated Press

November 04, 2012

14-year-old Chinese amateur earns spot in 2013 Masters

Posted at 5:22 PM by

Guan-Tianlang-into-mastersWhen 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."

(MORE FROM GOLF.COM: Woods and McIlroy meet again in Asia | Top 10 presidential golfers)

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

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