Tianlang Guan became the youngest player to swing a club at the Masters earlier this week and now he’s the youngest to make the cut.
But it wasn’t without a little drama.
Guan has been praised by his much older peers for his poised play at The Masters but the 14-year-old’s patience ended up costing him a stroke. Guan was given a controversial one stroke penalty for slow play today, dropping him down to plus three for the day and four above par for the week.
John Paramor, the official that issued the stroke penalty, said that he had warned Guan several times before he added a stroke to his score. Paramor said that he talked to the 14-year-old on the 12th hole, then again on the 13th before handing him a penalty at 17.
Paramor said: “He had warnings … Everything needs to be done to [preserve fast play]. I made that clear on the walk from the 16th green to the 17th tee … It’s his very first Masters … He’s a great player and he’ll be fine. He’s a strong player.”
Fred Ridley, competition committees chairman at the Masters, stood behind Paramor’s decision to issue Guan a penalty.
Ridley said: “Guan was assessed a one-shot penalty for violation of Rule 6-7 of the Rules of Golf and the Tournament’s Pace of Play Policy. His group, which included Ben Crenshaw and Matteo Manassero, was deemed out of position on No. 10. Guan began being timed on Hole 12 and received his first warning on Hole 13 after his second shot. In keeping with the applicable rules, he was penalized following his 2nd shot on the 17th hole when he again exceeded the 40 second time limit by a considerable margin.”
Here’s a video of Guan talking about the penalty.
Ben Crenshawsaid that he was “sick” for Guan and feared that that the penalty would force him out of the tournament.
Crenshaw said: “I’m sick for him. He’s 14 years old, we’re playing when you get the wind blowing out here, believe me, you’re going to change your mind a lot. I’m sorry. I’m a player, but it is not easy to get around this golf course the way it’s set up for [these] two days. We’re playing threesomes. We used to play twosomes on the first two days. So everybody is taking their time. It’s difficult.”
Thankfully, the penalty didn’t force Guan out of the tournament. The 14-year-old golfer will join Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, and tournament leader Jason Day tomorrow for the third round of the 2013 Masters.