Guan, 14, Becomes Youngest Qualifier for Masters Tournament Golf

Tianlang Guan became the youngest player to qualify for golf’s Masters Tournament by winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at age 14.

Guan, from China, finished the four-round tournament at the Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi, Thailand, yesterday with a score of 15-under-par 273.

“I’m really happy to become the youngest player at the Masters and looking forward to going there,” Guan said in comments on the website of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship. “I don’t know what’s going to happen there, but I know I just want to do well.”

The reigning U.S., British and Asia-Pacific amateur champions are invited to the Masters each year. The youngest player to take part in the first major golf tournament of the year was Italy’s Matteo Manassero, who teed off in the 2010 edition 11 days before his 17th birthday.

Guan, a schoolboy from Guangzhou and China’s first Asia- Pacific amateur champion, will be 14 years, five months, 17 days old when the 2013 Masters begins April 11 at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.

In June, 14-year-old Andy Zhang of China became the youngest player to take part in the U.S. Open.

The 125-pound (56 kilogram) Guan, the youngest player in the field, punched the air after sinking a five-foot putt for par on the final hole yesterday to finish one shot ahead of Cheng-tsung Pan from Taiwan. Australian Oliver Goss finished third at 12-under, two strokes ahead of two-time champion Hideki Matsuyama, Asia’s top-ranked amateur.

Guan’s victory also earns him a place in international final qualifying for the 2013 British Open. Guan played at this year’s China Open to become the youngest competitor at a European Tour event.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dex McLuskey in Dallas at dmcluskey@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.

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