By PGATOUR.COM staff
Guan Tianlang has a lot to be thankful for as he looks back on 2013.
After all, he got to play in the Masters. And not only that, Guan became the youngest player to ever make the cut in a major championship at the age of 14 years and 169 days.
Guan, who went on to tie for 58th at Augusta National, played in four other PGA TOUR events, as well. He finished 71st in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and missed the cut in the other three.
But the teenager, who recently turned 15, has even more to anticipate after earning an invitation to play in the Hong Kong Open Dec. 5-8. He is also hosting a clinic at Hong Kong Golf Club on Nov. 20 for kids from four different area schools.
“This year has just been an incredible journey for me," Guan said. "Making the cut at The Masters was a very special achievement for me and I hope to be able to produce a similar performance at the Hong Kong Golf Club in December.
“When you get the opportunity to play against world class players you cannot refuse because it is the best environment to learn and gain experience and I would love to play all four rounds at the Hong Kong Golf Club.”
The Hong Kong Open was first played in 1959 and among its past champions are Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Colin Montgomerie, José María Olazábal, Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy.
Guan Tianlang, 14, needed just 27 putts on Thursday at Muirfield Village. (Lyons/Getty Images)
By Larry Dorman, Special to PGATOUR.COM
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Making his fourth PGA TOUR start of 2013, the talented 14-year-old amateur Guan Tianlang continued to impress by learning from his mistakes.
Undaunted by the speedy greens right up until the 18th hole – where he misjudged his 50-footer for birdie and putted it off the green – Guan managed the difficult Muirfield Village course en route to even-par 72.
The imperturbable eighth-grader from Guangzhou, China, was not unduly rattled by the slip-up at 18. He simply dead-handed a pitch with his fourth shot to within 2 feet for an easy tap-in bogey.
“I think I still did a pretty good job, though,” said Guan, who has shot par or better four times in 11 rounds and made two of three cuts since his U.S. playing debut at the Masters in April – where he became the youngest player in PGA TOUR history to make a cut.
Much as he did at Augusta National, and when making the cut at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans two weeks later, Guan employed an advanced grasp of course management and high-level short game to offset his lack of distance off the tee. He saved par three of four times from Muirfield’s deep greenside bunkers, took 27 putts and had just one three-putt.
Perhaps his best up-and-down came when he was bunkered above the hole at No. 9, facing a very slick shot of 45 feet down a slope. Though his ball rolled 9 feet past the hole despite his effort to kill the speed with a risky bunker explosion into the fringe, Guan rolled the par putt right in the middle to go out in 34 and remain in a tie for 13th at the time. Tied for 41st with 16 players, Guan has a good chance to make another cut.
He decided against using the fringe to slow his nearly unstoppable putt at the 18th, but after what happened he knew what he should have done.
“Right now I’m thinking probably the first cut or even chip it,” he said.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
The summer of Guan Tianlang continues.
The 14-year-old Chinese amateur has accepted a sponsor exemption into the FedEx St. Jude Classic, the tournament announced on Wednesday.
"Guan's invitation was a no-brainer," said tournament director Phil Cannon. “He certainly has made a big splash in the sports world. And we are excited our fans will get to witness history. It's remarkable that he did not have a three-putt green in 72 holes at Augusta."
Guan, who was the youngest player to participate in the Masters before finishing as the low amateur at Augusta National, is also in the field for next week's Memorial tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance.
The FedEx St. Jude Classic will be his fourth event on a sponsor exemption. As a non-member of the PGA TOUR, he is allowed to accept up to seven sponsor exemptions.
Guan earned his spot in the Masters by winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.
In his two starts since the Masters, Guan finished 71st in New Orleans and missed the cut last week in Dallas.
Guan Tianlang has made two cuts in three PGA TOUR starts this year. (Revere/Getty Images)
Guan Tianlang has accepted an exemption to compete in the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance. The event will take place May 27 to June 2 at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
Guan, 14, last month became the youngest player to make a cut in a major championship in PGA TOUR history when he finished 58th at The Masters Tournament with a 12-over-par 300 aggregate. His invitation to the first major of the season came by way of his victory at the 2012 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship. A native of Guangzhou, China, Guan followed up his performance at Augusta National Golf Club by making the cut two weeks later at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, where he finished 71st at 4-over 292. Last week he missed the cut at the HP Byron Nelson Championship after rounds of 70 and 77.
Fans will be able to watch Guan's first two rounds at the Memorial through PGATOUR.COM's LIVE@ coverage.
“I am very excited to accept the invitation to play at the Memorial Tournament,” Guan said. “It is Jack Nicklaus’ event, and the same as all the golf fans out there I have very high respect to Mr. Nicklaus, not just as a golf legend, but also as a great person. He has been actively involved in the development of golf in China, and junior golf development worldwide, and as a junior golfer myself I appreciate what he has done to help us grow. My parents and I got the chance to meet him in person at the Masters, and that was one of the highlights of my week at Augusta National. I appreciate a lot the Memorial Tournament for having me there, and it is going to be a great week.”
Guan is ranked No. 78 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
“The Memorial Tournament has been a strong supporter of amateur golf since its inception, and each year the winners of both the U.S. Amateur and British Amateur are always invited to participate,” said Memorial Tournament Founder and Host Jack Nicklaus. “With the Asia Pacific Amateur Championship becoming such an important event in the game of golf, and with the winner earning an invitation to the Masters and a spot in International final qualifying for the British Open, the Captains Club thought it was only appropriate to offer an invitation to the Memorial Tournament. We hope that in the future, we can make this a standard policy with our exemptions."
Guan posted a 7-over 77 during Friday's second round (Pennington/Getty Images)
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- After making the cut in his first two PGA TOUR starts, 14-year-old amateur Guan Tianlang of China will not be in the field this weekend at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Guan shot a second-round 7-over 77 on Friday, leaving him at 7 over for 36 holes and well below the projected cut line of even par when he walked off the course.
"Just didn't play my best out there today," Guan said. "I still learned a lot. Still have a lot more to learn."
In playing the Masters last month as the youngest player in tournament history, Guan made the cut, the only amateur in the field to reach the weekend. He eventually finished 58th.
He then followed with another made cut at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, finishing 71st.
But with players going low in prime scoring conditions at the TPC Four Seasons Resort, Guan could not keep pace after shooting a respectable even-par 70 in the first round.
"Every tournament you can learn," Guan said. "These two days I think I learned a lot from different angles. This is a good TOUR event; it won't be that easy and I won't make the cut every time. But I think I learned more."
Starting his second round off the 10th tee, Guan double bogeyed the 12th. He bounced back with a birdie, but then suffered five consecutive bogeys to finish his first nine in 41.
He steadied himself on the final nine, with one birdie and seven pars until reaching his final hole of the day, the par-4 ninth, which he double bogeyed after having to take a penalty stroke following an errant tee shot.
"Last couple of holes on the first nine, I think I didn't play bad," Guan said. "Just got in the wind and I got some bad luck, but that's golf. But I don't think I played really bad on the back, so I calmed myself down a little bit and just got better on the back nine."
Guan, who played on sponsor's exemptions in New Orleans and Dallas, said he was not sure what his schedule would be for the near-future, although he did say he had a "couple of invites" to consider.
An upcoming U.S. Open qualifier also is on his schedule, although he said he's not sure if he'll play.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
IRVING, Texas -- Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old amateur from China, has put himself in position to make another cut at a PGA TOUR event.
Guan posted an even-par 70 in Thursday's first round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship. That left him in a tie for 77th, which means he'll need to move up slightly from that position to make the top 70 and ties who'll advance to this weekend at the TPC Four Seasons Resort.
"I feel like I have a pretty good chance (to make the cut)," said Guan, who tees off at 9:40 a.m. ET (8:40 a.m. local) in Friday's second round.
The eighth-grader made history last month by being the youngest player to make the cut at the Masters. He then followed with another made cut at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
On Thursday, he posted two birdies and two bogeys. "I missed a couple of birdie putts in the middle but overall not a bad round," he said.
Guan said his group, which also included Andrew Svoboda and Donald Constable, was put on the clock "for a couple of holes" on Thursday but were not penalized for slow play. Guan suffered a one-stroke penalty for slow play at the Masters.
"We had some rules problems today so we need to pick up speed," Guan said. "A lot of rules problems."
IRVING, Texas -- In Thursday's opening round of the 2013 HP Byron Nelson Championship, 14-year-old amateur Guan Tianlang of China holed a 13-foot birdie putt on the par-4 ninth hole.
IRVING, Texas -- Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old amateur sensation from China, is playing in his third PGA TOUR event this week at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Guan became the youngest player to make the cut at the Masters, then followed that by making the cut at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
He'll look to make it three straight at the TPC Four Season Resort.
On Wednesday, Guan discussed a variety of topics, including how he prepares for tournaments.