Tuesday, April 09, 2013
GOLF: CHINESE TENNAGER TO BECOME THE YOUNGEST PLAYER TO PLAY IN THE AUGUSTA
China's Guan Tianlan will become the youngest player in the US Masters after winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Thailand last year and, at the age of 14.
The Guangzhou schoolboy, who played alongside world No 1 Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson on Monday, says he will do 'pretty much all' of his homework while in America, but has found plenty of time for seven practice rounds at Augusta.
'I'm not going to push myself too hard and I'm going to enjoy my game,' said Guan, who will also play the traditional par-three contest on Wednesday with three-time winner Nick Faldo.
'Hopefully I can play well,' he said.
'The general manager of my home course is friends with Ben (Crenshaw) and he told him I wanted to play with him. He told me a lot and we really enjoyed it on the golf course.'
Guan has already played with Tiger Woods in a pro-am in his native China but was also paired alongside the 14-time major winner on Monday,
'The players here are all great players, so I'm looking forward to speaking to any one of them.
'When I was three or four years old I was looking at him (Woods) winning the Masters and it's pretty exciting to watch him. I played with him twice in the past couple of years and he gave me a lot of advice. Every time I play with him I feel a lot better and give myself some confidence.'
Guan's appearance at Augusta may have made headlines around the world, but world No 8 Steve Stricker was still taken aback when he realised exactly how old the former world junior champion is.
'I knew he was playing, I knew he was young. I didn't think he was the same age as my daughter,' Stricker said. 'I thought he was 16.