Guan Tianlang, 14 year old Chinese golf prodigy, won numerous plaudits in his US Masters debut. Guan will return to China with the Silver Cup, a trophy awarded to the best-performing amateur, after finishing 12 over par in Augusta.
The young golfer was unable to match his earlier strong performances, but held his own admirably as he played alongside course veteran Sandy Lyle:
Understandably, given his youth and the inevitable effects of fatigue both physical and mental, Guan was unable to better his first-round 73 over the subsequent three days.
He offered a brief back-nine rally on Sunday, courtesy of birdies on the 13th and 16th, but a dropped shot on the penultimate hole ensured the Chinese teenager signed off with a 75 – and plenty of acclaim from Augusta’s patrons – before collecting his award for the top amateur in this tournament.
“It’s actually the most difficult course in the world,” Guan said. “I don’t think it was getting easier, it was getting more and more difficult.”
The 14 year old also became the youngest ever recipient of the ‘Low Amateur’ title, awarded by Augusta’s Butler Cabin golf club.
Guan’s debut was not without upset. He incurred a one shot penalty for slow play, after repeated warnings from referee John Paramor.
“To make an example of a young 14-year-old, it’s not fair,” said British golfer Graeme McDowell. “There are plenty of seasoned pros out here who need a good rocket to get a move along.”
There was also controversy after a Louisiana TV sports anchor referred to Guan as a “chinaman”.