Masters 2013: Tianlang Guan closes memorable week as low amateur

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AUGUSTA, Ga. — The week that began historically for China’s Tianlang Guan ended with one more honor.

Guan, the Masters’ youngest competitor at 14 years, five months and 17 days, carded 3-over-par 75 in his final round Sunday, finishing the week at 12-over par to be low amateur.

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“It’s not easy to play here, to make the cut, to be low amateur,” said Guan, who received a silver cup for his accomplishment. “I think I did a pretty good job this weekend.”

The heralded amateur practiced with Tiger Woods and played with legends such as Sandy Lyle and Ben Cren­shaw. He said Crenshaw gave him the best advice.

“He said play your own game and have fun,” said Guan, the only amateur to make the cut.

Not the longest driver, Guan knew his short game would have to be his strength and he putted well, not recording a double bogey all week.

The week wasn’t without challenges. On Friday, he was penalized a stroke for slow play.

“I think the first couple rounds I played pretty good and I know I’m a little bit tired today,” he said. “So yeah, there are still a lot of things to improve. My short game is good but still needs to be better. My driver probably needs to be longer. Yes, I mean, everything needs to improve.”

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On Sunday, he missed a makeable birdie putt on No. 15 from 3 feet but came back on No. 16 as his tee shot rolled to within 3 feet once more. This time, he made the birdie.

On No. 17, his tee shot sliced right, landing in the souvenir bag of Tom Lowndes from Council Bluffs, Iowa, as he was beginning to enter the 15th crossway.

“I heard this pop-pop, and there it was sitting on top of this shirt,” Lowndes said.

After taking a drop, Guan lofted the ball high over the trees onto the fairway and salvaged a bogey. He finished with a par on No. 18 to a rousing ovation as he doffed his cap to the crowd.

The galleries at Augusta left the biggest impression on the 14-year-old.

“I would say it’s my first time to play in front of all the people here, all the patrons, and they were really nice to me and I appreciate them coming here watching me,” Guan said.

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