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Thursday, November 1, 2012
Chinese teenager leads Asia-Pacific

By Bob Harig
ESPN.com

China's Guan Tianlang, who turned 14 last week, shot a 6-under 66, including eight birdies, for a two-stroke lead Thursday after the first round of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Bangkok.

The winner of the tournament earns a spot in the 2013 Masters and into international final qualifying for the Open Championship at Muirfield. The runner-up also is exempt into final qualifying for the Open.

Daniel Pearce of New Zealand shot 68 over the 7,231-yard course at Amat Spring Country Club. Natipong Srithong of Thailand, Senapaa Chikkarangappa of India and South Korea's Lee Soo-min, last year's runner-up, each shot 69.

Two-time defending champion Hideki Matsuyama, who has made the cut in the past two Masters, shot 71. The No. 1 amateur in Asia, who has won a tournament on the Japanese professional tour, was tied for 10th.

Guan won by 11 shots in his age division (11-12) last summer at the junior world golf championships in San Diego. Guan was the youngest-ever winner of the China Amateur Open last November, and at this year's China Open in April he became the youngest player to ever compete in a European Tour event.

The tournament is run by the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, along with the Masters tournament and the R&A.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.