Masters 2013: Guan Tianlang youngest ever to make Major cut

Masters 2013: 14-year-old Guan Tianlang becomes the youngest player to make the cut at a Major or PGA event

Sportsbeat
By Sportsbeat

Chinese sensation Guan Tianlang has become the youngest player ever to make the cut at a Major or PGA event aged just 14 – despite being penalised for slow play.

The one-shot penalty was added to his score on the 17th to leave him four-over for the tournament but still within ten shots of leader Jason Day on six-under.

Guan spoke shortly after leaving the referee’s office and faced a long wait to discover if he made the cut, but appeared relaxed about the day’s events.

“I would still feel OK if I didn’t make the cut because I’ve really enjoyed this week and learned a lot so for me it’s still OK,” he said.

“I respect the decision they make and that’s what they can do.

“It did affect me a little bit when I had a putt on the 17th and didn’t make it but it was still OK.”

The Asia-Pacific amateur champion took the record from Canada’s Bob Panasik, who reached the weekend at the 1957 Canada Open aged 15.

Guan was warned on the 10th, referee John Paramor started timing his shot on the 12th and he exceeded the 45-second limit on his second shot at the 13th.

The Masters debutant broke the rule for a second time on his approach to the 17th green and received the penalty.

The Chinese prodigy remained calm though, going on to make par at the 18th and blamed tricky weather conditions for his slow play.

“I just think the weather’s not that good today, we had some rain on the ground and the winds switch a lot and blows hard,” he added.

“So I just have to make the decisions, I switched my club but unfortunately it was my second ‘bad time’.”

Frenchman Gregory Bourdy was penalised for slow play during the 2010 US PGA Championship and England’s Ross Fisher fell foul of Paramor for the same infringement at last year’s Welsh Open.

Paramor is the European Tour’s chief referee and said Guan’s age had not been a factor in deciding on the penalty.

“It’s the Masters,” he said. “I feel like that in those situations, any time they happen, that’s my job. That is what I do.”

Guan was playing with two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw and the 61-year-old American spoke before the cut mark was known.

“This is not going to end pretty. I’m sick for him. I feel terrible. He is 14 years old. I’m so sorry this has happened,” he said.

“When you get the wind blowing out here, believe me, you’re going to change your mind a lot.

“There’s no question he played slowly at times. But he was working things out.”

Matteo Manassero, the previous youngest Masters player at just 16, was also playing with Guan.

The Italian warned his playing partner against slow play in the future but said Guan will learn from the punishment.

“We all feel sorry, but this is the way professional golf goes,” he said.

“I think it’s the biggest thing he needs to be careful about. When the caddie pulls the club for him, I think he’s ready.

“But most of the times that he takes a little too long he just asks questions that I think he knows, but just to be sure, just to be clear in his mind.”

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