Chinese 14-year-old earns ticket to US Masters

Sun Nov 4, 2012 11:17am GMT
 

(Reuters) - Guan Tianlang is poised to become the youngest golfer to play at the U.S. Masters after the Chinese 14-year-old won the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Thailand on Sunday.

Teenage hot-shot Guan earned an invitation to the 2013 Masters at Augusta after firing an even-par 71 to win by one stroke from Taiwan's Pan Chung-Tseng at Amata Spring Country Club.

Pan shot a final-round 65 but Guan hung on to claim a memorable victory with a 15-under total of 269.

Australia's Oliver Goss, who finished third a further shot adrift, told AAP that Guan was "too young to be intimidated."

When Guan tees it up at Augusta in April he will beat the previous record set by Italy's Matteo Manassero, who was 16 when he played at the year's first major in 2010.

Guan is quickly establishing himself as Asia's latest golf sensation, becoming the youngest player to compete at a European Tour event at the China Open earlier this year.

Japan's Ryo Ishikawa and South Korean Noh Seung-yul both burst onto the scene while still at school, blazing a trail for the next generation of Asian golfers.

Ishikawa, 21, has nine Japanese Tour wins to his name, his first coming as a 15-year-old, while Noh, also 21, captured a European Tour title at the co-sanctioned Malaysian Open in 2010.

Guan Tianlang of China gestures during the final day of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi November 4, 2012. Guan is poised to become the youngest golfer to play at the U.S. Masters after the Chinese 14-year-old won the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Thailand on Sunday. REUTERS/Paul Lakatos/OneAsia/Handout
 
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