Guan Tianlang, 14, Is Youngest Person To Qualify For 2013 Masters
A 14-year-old from Guangzhou, Guangongdong, China, will is fighting to make the cut in the second round of the 2013 Masters. He is the youngest competitor to ever have played in the competition, according to Fox News.
Guan qualified for the Masters by winning the fourth annual Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in November as the youngest player in the field.
He most certainly swings a big stick, having played since he was four, and traveling to California for about three months during the year, staying with relatives in Los Angeles and San Diego to train. His modesty is admirable as well. When asked about winning the tournament, he simply said, "I think probably not this year, but I think I can win it in the future."
If you think that's impressive, you might also appreciate that he already stands at 5'9". When I was 14, I was stretching my neck to get that tall, and rather than compete against Tiger Woods and some of the greatest athletes on the planet, I was deciding whether I would keep following Charmed after Shannon Dougherty left. That was a rough year.
It goes without saying that Guan is causing quite a stir in the golfing world. Professionals who have preceded him cannot give him anything but praise. Tiger Woods lauded his "pin-point accuracy, Phil Mickelson couldn't believe how well he putted, and Jack Nicklaus commented on his poise and politeness. Guan's playing partner, Ben Crenshaw, 61, had mention how beautiful his hands are.
Only until last year, I've envied those with proportionate hands. My hands have been bigger than my face for as long as I can remember, so I often compare them with other guys with my relative build (like Guan, give or take 20 lbs.--in this case, give). When I was born I accidentally high-fived the doctor, the nurses, my parents and the spirit of my unborn brother. My father has referred to me as Hans ever since. It's a miracle I don't always wear black gloves to make them look slimmer.
Minor bitterness aside, Guan's professionalism both on and off the course has him ranked high among the world's most impressive child-athletes. At a press conference he told reporters that he hopes one year he'll win four majors. At first it sounds like a joke and then, when you remember he shot a one-over-par in the first round of the Masters, you think, oh right, that might actually happen.