AUGUSTA, Ga. — Add flair for the dramatic to the ever-growing list of accomplishments 14-year-old Tianlang Guan has been chalking up this week during the Masters Tournament.
As Guan approached the 18th green Saturday, a man standing near the green wearing a bright red jacket announced his golfing achievements: at 14 years, five months and 18 days Guan became the youngest competitor to ever make the Masters cut.
“This is a miracle,” the man said. “He might even walk on water.”
Guan didn’t do that, but using the belly putter he changed to 10 months ago, he dropped a 60-footer for par. The delighted patrons gave him a standing ovation.
“This has been just a great week for me and I’m really enjoying it,” Guan said. “The people here are nice and I learned a lot from the top players. I think I played pretty good rounds these three days.”
Guan shot 5-over 77 Saturday after previous rounds of 73 and 75.
His popularity was obvious off the first tee when a throng of patrons watched his drive and then pretty much all departed with him. “The kid is good” constantly could be heard through the crowd. A group chanted his name on the 17th tee.
“I didn’t think too much [while I was playing],” Guan said. “But I’m really happy and I really appreciate they are watching.”
Guan starts play Sunday at 9-over and is guaranteed low- amateur honors and a trip to Butler Cabin with the champion.
“It will be my honor to be there and I’m really happy,” Guan said. “I didn’t put too much attention [on being low amateur]. I hoped I could do it.”
Guan learned he had made the cut late Friday when leader Jason Day made par at No. 18. He created a buzz earlier in the day when he drew a 1-stroke penalty for slow play.
Guan and Saturday playing partner Thorbjorn Olesen fell a full hole behind the twosome in front of them — Peter Hanson and John Huh — by hole No. 12. Olesen had hit a wayward drive earlier that added to the delay.
Rules officials talked to Guan about where they were timewise as they walked off No. 13 tee.
“They just said we were two minutes behind and didn’t put us on the clock,” said Guan, who played the round in just under four hours. “The weather is good and we played in twosomes, so we played fast.”
While Guan is focused on playing well in the final round, he said he plans to try to qualify for the U.S. Open later in the year.