Guan Tian-lang, an eighth grader from China, was a wire to wire winner at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Bangkok on Sunday. The youngster made a five foot putt on the final hole at the Amata Springs Country Club to seal a one shot victory, and a berth in the 2013 Masters in April. He is believed to be the youngest player in history to qualify for a PGA Major Championship.
The Asian-Pacific Amateur Championship that is sponsored by The Augusta National Golf Club, in conjunction with the R&A , was designed to encourage young golfers across Asia. The winner of this tournament receives a spot in the Masters. It is also provides a springboard to promote the sport and sponsors in the huge Pacific Rim marketplace.
The 125 pound 14 year old, who can barely reach long par-fours, will be playing against some of the longest hitters in the world when he tees it up at the Mecca of golf in April. The youngster possess a great short game, but uses the elongated belly putter which, by the time he reaches Augusta, may be illegal on the major tours.
Guan started playing golf at age four, and goes to California for about three months every year, staying with relatives. He was invited to play in the Volvo China Open on the European Tour in April, but missed the cut. Along with the Masters invitation, he will receive a spot in the final stage of qualifying for the British Open next summer.
Guan Tian-lang is good-looking youngster who seems to be very comfortable in front of the cameras and media. He has been schooled on interviewing, and by the time he reaches maturity, should be ready for the spotlight that is sure to come. Look out Rory and Tiger, there’s a new player in town.