14-Year-Old Earns Spot in Masters


Guan Tianlang, a 14-year-old from China, has earned a spot in the 2013 Masters. The eighth grader won the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship on Sunday, giving him an automatic berth in the first major of next year.

Despite being able to hit the ball only about 250 yards off the tee, the slight, 125-pound Tianlang carded rounds of 66, 64, 72 and 71 to finish at 15-under 273 at Amata Spring Country Club in Thailand, one stroke ahead of Cheng-Tsung Pan, a Taiwanese player at the University of Washington.

"I'm so excited," Guan said afterward about playing in the Masters. "I'm really happy to become the youngest player at the Masters and looking forward to going there. I don't know what's going to happen there, but I know I just want to do well.''

Guan, also the youngest winner of the China Amateur Open last November, will be 14 years, five months, 17 days old when the 2013 Masters starts on April 11. The previous youngest player to qualify for Augusta National was Italy's Matteo Manassero in 2010; he played 11 days before turning 17.

Guan said the prospects of playing in the Masters temporarily distracted him on the final hole of the Asia-Pacific Amateur. "I think about it a little bit at the last hole, but I'm trying not to get it in my mind," Guan said.

"So just want to focus on my game. I got a little bit nervous on the last putt because that's the winning putt. But I just do my own routine and everything is good."

In addition to the Masters' berth, Guan gets a spot in the final stage of qualifying for the 2013 British Open, as will Pan.

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