The 2013 Masters begins on Thursday, April 11, in Augusta, Georgia. The best golfers in the world play in the tournament in the hopes of winning a place in history and the coveted green jacket.
Some of the top golfers included this year are not surprising – Steve Stricker, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickleson just to name a few. However, the surprise this year has been the inclusion of the 14-year-old from China, Tianlang Guan. Guan is extremely talented but should not be allowed to play.
A 14-year-old playing in the Masters is the equivalent of a high school player in the NFL. It doesn’t work and it takes something away from the sport. There is an aura surrounding the Masters as a tournament in which the best of the best in the world come to play; those who have won the tournament are forever remembered.
It is not the type of event to start including people who are as young as Guan, no matter how talented. The Masters should be put on a pedestal and Guan’s inclusion takes away from the historical significant of the tournament.
Don’t take anything away from Guan because of his age — he’s a great golfer. However, the Masters should be what players are working towards in the lower tournaments. Let him win as many tournaments at the younger PGA and other organized divisions as possible, and let him get a little older. The Masters is an elite tournament and should be set aside for only players at the most elite levels.