• The Masters

Guan ends Masters adventure with flourish

ESPN staff
April 14, 2013
Tianlang Guan completed four rounds of the Masters in 300 shots © Getty Images

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Chinese sensation Tianlang Guan concluded his maiden Masters Tournament with a three-over par round of 75 on Sunday, finishing the tournament 12-over par overall.

The 14-year-old, the youngest player ever to play in the Masters, also became the youngest golfer in the modern era to make the cut at a major championship - after managing to sit just nine shots off Jason Day's 36-hole lead on Friday evening.

He finished his Masters adventure in impressive fashion on Sunday, adding a final round of 75 to previous efforts of 77, 75 and 73. The cumulative score saw him sit 58th in the event in the clubhouse, sitting ahead of professionals Kevin Na, Carl Pettersson - a five-time PGA Tour winner - and John Peterson.

"I think the first couple rounds, I played pretty good," Guan said afterwards. "I feel a little bit tired today. So yeah, there's still a lot of things to improve.

"My short game's good, but still need to be better. My driver probably needs to be longer. Yes, I mean, everything needs to improve."

Guan had two birdies during his final round, at the 13th and - after a fine approach - at the par-three 16th. He did not three-putt a single green in four rounds of play at Augusta National.

Guan had already sewn up the silver cup, awarded to the week's low amateur, after the other four amateurs in the field failed to make the cut. He will pick up the award alongside the tournament's winner in the Butler Cabin at the conclusion of play.

After the teenager qualified for the event with victory at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship last November, there had been fears that he would struggle to break 80 during his week at Augusta.

But, after arriving a month early to practise at the course, the Chinese earned widespread praise for his performance.

"The greatest thing I have seen in golf was Tiger Woods winning a Grand Slam at 24, but Guan's performance is the second best I have seen," legendary golfer Gary Player said on Sunday. "I thought Tianlang Guan would score 81, 82 but I wouldn't have been surprised by a 90 because this course is such a monster

"And he did it hitting woods! It is just incredible, if I had been in his position when I was 14 I would have been in tears."

However, he did attract some negative attention for the pace of his play; receiving a one-shot penalty on Friday for slow play and then being warned on further occasions during his third round on Saturday.

Guan hopes to continue his golfing education by playing in more professional tournaments in the near future, while he has also pencilled in some coaching sessions with Sean Foley, Tiger Woods' swing coach.

He does not intend to turn professional in the near future, however.

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

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