Tianlang Guan youngest to make cut
Guan Respects Penalty Decision
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- China's Tianlang Guan, the youngest player ever to tee it up at the Masters, made the cut on the number Friday despite being assessed a one-stroke penalty at the 17th hole for slow play.
The 14-year-old eighth-grader shot 3-over 75 at Augusta National and is 4 over for the tournament. The cut line came at 4 over based on the 10-shot rule, and Guan was the lone amateur to make it.
"I made it," he said afterward on Weibo, China's version of Twitter. "I hope I can make more miracles, more dreams come true. I want to thank my parents and everyone who cared, supported and helped me."
More 2013 Masters Coverage
What kind of lunacy is it to call out a 14-year-old amateur from China -- during the Masters -- for slow play? Fortunately for Tianlang Guan, he'll still get to play the weekend after making the cut at Augusta, writes Gene Wojciechowski. Story
Jason Day leads at 6 under. The Aussie was in position to knock out Guan -- and everyone else at 4 over, including defending champ Bubba Watson -- when he stood over a 12-foot putt at the 17th hole. When the ball slid by the right side of the hole, Guan could breathe a little easier.
At 14 years, 5 months of age, Guan is nearly two years younger than any other player in the modern era to make the cut in a major championship. The old record was held by Matteo Manassero, who was 16 years, 2 months when he made the 2009 Open Championship cut.
Guan also is the youngest to make a cut in PGA Tour history. Bob Panasik, at 15 years, 8 months, previously was the youngest, doing so at the 1957 Canadian Open.
Guan made par-4 at No. 17 but had to put a 5 on his card due to the slow-play penalty.
John Paramor, a longtime and respected European Tour rules official, was involved in the decision to penalize Guan. Paramor said he issued a warning on the 10th green, advised Guan on the 12th tee, and then again at Nos. 13 and 17 before issuing the penalty after Guan played No. 17.
"I feel like that in those situations, any time they happen, that's my job," Paramor said. "That is what I do."
The Masters follows the Rules of Golf as written by the U.S. Golf Association and the Royal & Ancient. Like all tournament committees, the Masters can supplement those with local rules.
Fred Ridley, competition committees chairman at the Masters, issued a statement on Guan's penalty later Friday.
Guan Shows He Can Cut It
At 14 years, 5 months, China's Tianlang Guan became the youngest player to make a cut in a major in the modern golf era ... and it wasn't even close. Matteo Manassero held the former mark, but was nearly 2 years older. Here's a look at the youngest golfers to make a cut in a major since 1900:
|2013 Masters||Tianlang Guan||14-5|
|2009 British||M. Manassero||16-2|
|2010 Masters||M. Manassero||16-11|
|1952 Masters||Tommy Jacobs||17-1|
|-- ESPN Stats & Information|
"Guan was assessed a one-shot penalty for violation of Rule 6-7 of the Rules of Golf and the Tournament's Pace of Play Policy," Ridley said. "His group, which included Ben Crenshaw and Matteo Manassero, was deemed out of position on No. 10. Guan began being timed on Hole 12 and received his first warning on Hole 13 after his second shot. In keeping with the applicable rules, he was penalized following his 2nd shot on the 17th hole when he again exceeded the 40 second time limit by a considerable margin."
Guan told ESPN's Tom Rinaldi that because of Friday's weather, he had to change his mind on which club to hit on a particular shot and that he was aware he was taking time when doing so. Guan said he respected Paramor's decision to assess a penalty."I think I just changed my routine before the Masters, and the routine is good, but I think today is pretty hard because if you're timed only 40 seconds, it's pretty hard because you need to make the decision," Guan said. "The wind switched a lot, but that's [the same] for everybody."
Crenshaw felt badly for Guan.
"Well, the way I understand it, he was warned after he walked off the 16th. And he had obviously the most diabolical putt you could face, and he made a brilliant two-putt," Crenshaw said after the round. "And, you know, I'm going to say this: Anybody would take time in order to get up and hit that putt.
"And this isn't going to end up pretty, I don't think. I'm sick. I'm sick for him. He's 14 years old, we're playing when you get the wind blowing out here, believe me, you're going to change your mind a lot. I'm sorry. I'm a player, but it is not easy to get around this golf course the way it's set up for [these] two days.
"We're playing threesomes. We used to play twosomes on the first two days. So everybody is taking their time. It's difficult.
"I am so sorry. I'm so sorry this has happened. It's not going to be pretty."
Manassero, who was keeping Guan's card in the group, was told by officials to write down a 5, even though Guan had scored a 4 on the hole
"I think it's the biggest thing he needs to be careful about, because I think he's ready. When the caddie pulls the club for him, I think he's ready," Manassero said. "But he just sometimes ... takes a little too long, he just asks questions [of his caddie] that I think he knows [the answers to], as well, but just to be sure, just to be clear in his mind.
"And so I think that's an important thing, and John Paramor was saying that, as well. We all feel sorry, but this is the way professional golf goes."
Guan, the youngest player at any major in 148 years, wasn't even born the last time a penalty was issued for slow play, against Glen Day at the 1995 Honda Classic.
Paramor was involved in a controversial slow-play issue at the 2008 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where he gave Padraig Harrington a warning for slow play while Harrington was involved in a tense match against Tiger Woods, who later criticized Paramor for the warning. Woods went on to win the tournament.
Paramor also issued slow-play warnings to Ross Fisher during the 2009 Open Championship. Despite repeated violations of the timing rules, he did not assess stroke penalties to Fisher.
"The soft-coated answer would be I feel bad, but I also feel like they just don't go around handing out one-shot penalties here," said 1992 Masters winner Fred Couples, who is playing the tournament for the 29th time. "I don't even know of anyone who has ever gotten one."
Augusta National spokesman Steve Ethun said there were no records of the penalty ever being assessed during the Masters. The PGA Championship in 2010 at Whistling Straits was the last major where a stroke-play penalty was issued, to Gregory Bourdy.
Information from ESPN.com senior golf writer Bob Harig and The Associated Press was used in this report.
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