From the 8th Grade to Augusta

By Salem Vance

Out of 93 golfers that tee-off in the first round of Augusta, no one received more publicity than amateur Guan Tianlang. The Chinese prodigy made history by being the youngest athlete ever to play in the distinguished Masters Tournament.  At the young age of 14, Tianlang has yet to even finish middle school in his hometown of Guangzhou, China. Golfing since age 4, the prodigy qualified for this year’s tournament by the 2012 Asia-Pacific Amateur in Thailand. In preparation for Augusta, Tianlang practiced with former Masters champions, Tiger Woods and Ben Crenshaw. Both of the established golfers were impressed by the 14 yr old.

GuanCrenshaw

Despite all eyes being on the young golfer, Tianglang impressed the entire playing field of the tournament by making the first round cut. He hit a minor speed bump before qualifying to Day 2 when he was given a penalty for slow play. Golfers and fans alike were surprised by the young athlete’s maturity and poise on the course, even after the controversial penalty.

Tianlang came out of the tournament proud of his performance. He did acknowledge that Augusta is by far the hardest course in the world and he still has a lot to improve on. Overall, the golf world should expect nothing but big things in the future from Guan Tialang.

 

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