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'Low Amateur' Guan recorded in golf history

Updated: 2013-04-15 11:16
( Xinhua)

'Low Amateur' Guan recorded in golf history


Guan Tianlang of China (L) holds the trophy he was awarded for low amateur in the Butler Cabin with Chairman Billy Payne following the 2013 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, April 14, 2013.  [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON - Young Chinese golfer Guan Tianlang was named the "Low Amateur" in the Butler Cabin after his 12 over finish at the Masters on Sunday, becoming the youngest ever holder of this title in the tournament's 77-year history.

Guan, a 14-year-old middle school boy from Guangzhou, was also the youngest player and the first Chinese player to make the cut at the Major event.

Guan hit 152 shots in his last two rounds, four more than what he did in his first two, and finished at the 58th place overall.

"In the first couple of rounds I played pretty well," said Guan. "I felt a little bit tired today.

"There are still a lot of things to improve. The short game is good, but it needs to be better.

"Everything needs to be improved."

Guan caught two birdies in the 13th and 16th hole, but got five bogeys throughout the 18 holes.

"It's such a great week for me and I enjoy so far and I learned a lot," said Guan.

Guan, having brought his homework and mother's snacks to Augusta, entered the Butler Cabin with the tournament winner Adam Scott and defending champion Bubba Watson.

"I think I will inspire more young kids in China to start golf. It's really helpful, so I'm looking forward to it," said Guan about his potential influence on the sport.

Record-studded Guan is widely expected to become "Chinese Tiger" , but it is still too early for the eighth grade student.

"I've not decided yet, but it won't be too early because there're still a lot of things to learn to improve," Guan said about when he would decide to turn pro. "So nothing to rush."

Guan was currently a middle school student in Guangzhou, and he still has a lot of homework to do.

"Maybe tonight," said Guan, when asked about when he would take care of his homework, "Chinese, math, English, science, a lot of things."

Guan started golf at the age of four. He picked up his club under the influence of his golf-loving parents, and fell in love with the sport afterwards. With a handful of record breaking performances in events like last year's Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, Guan gained the notice of the whole world.

Guan arrived at Augusta almost a month before the event, and enjoyed his practice with top golfers including Tiger Woods, Tom Watson and Ben Crenshaw.

"I was happy to practice with Tiger," said Guan. "Actually my golf career partly started because of him. He is my idol."

As the youngest participant, youngest player to make the cut, youngest  "Low Amateur", Guan is set to draw more attention. He has also been qualified for a couple of events later this year, and he would take time to choose his next tournament.

Guan would participate in the Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion event again this year, with the hope for a second qualification for the Masters.

"I would be really happy to come back here, so I am going to try very hard to win that tournament again," he said. "But it's not easy."

The 2013 Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion event is to take place in October 24-27 at the Nanshan International Golf Club in Longkou City, China.

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