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Even with 1-stroke penalty, 14-year-old makes cut
“I just changed my routine before the Masters and the routine is good, but I think today is pretty hard,” Guan said. “You need to make the decision, but the wind switched a lot. But that’s for everybody.”
Guan and his playing partners, Ben Crenshaw and Matteo Manassero, never held up the group behind them. But Fred Ridley, the competition committee chairman at Augusta National, said they were first warned for being out of position at No. 10.
“I don’t know what they do, but I don’t think I’m too bad,” Guan said.
The Masters follows the Rules of Golf, written by the U.S. Golf Association and the Royal & Ancient. Rule 6-7 requires golfers to keep up “with any pace of play guidelines that the committee may establish.” For a threesome at Augusta National, those guidelines set a target of 4 hours, 38 minutes to play 18 holes. Once a group is warned it is “out of position” _ too far behind the group just ahead _ each player is timed and allotted 40 seconds to play the shot.
Guan went on the clock on 12, and received his first warning at the 13th.
“In keeping with the applicable rules … he again exceeded the 40-second time limit by a considerable margin,” Ridley said in a statement.
Guan said he understood the warning, and tried to pick up his pace.
“A little bit,” he said. “But I think my routine is good. The only problem is I have to make the decision.”
“When the caddie pulls the club for him, I think he’s ready. But he just sometimes _ most of the times _ he takes a little too long. He just asks questions that I think he knows, just to be sure, just to be clear in his mind,” Manassero said. “If I would have took more time on 16, I probably would have saved two shots, as well.”
John Paramor, the chief referee for the European Tour, said he warned Guan as the group walked to the 17th tee that he needed to speed it up. But Guan had another long delay before his second shot on the hole as he tried to read the wind, and Paramor pulled him aside as the teenager approached the green. Paramor informed Guan he was being assessed a one-stroke penalty, and they had an animated discussion for several minutes.
“You give him the news, the best you can,” Paramor said.
Guan said he was aware of the rule, which has been part of golf etiquette since 1934 and was added to the rule book in 1952. But the penalty rattled him, and he missed an easy birdie putt on 17. He pulled himself together on 18, nearly holing out from a greenside bunker. When the ball hit the back of the cup and bounced a few inches past the hole, leaving Guan an easy putt for par, his father yelled, “Yes!” and clapped his hands several times.
“No problem,” Han Wen said. “No problem.”
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