As if it wasn't difficult enough to battle Tiger Woods and the world's best golfers at Augusta National for the first time as a 14-year-old amateur, teenage golfing sensation Tianlang Guan was assessed a controversial one-stroke penalty at the 2013 Masters during Friday's second round:
Guan, a native of China making his PGA debut this spring, was penalized for, of all things, slow play. That's right, slow play on a golf course.
With the penalty, he would finish with a three-over 75 for the round, which has him in the clubhouse at four-over through the first two rounds.
Of course, it didn't take long for those watching around the world to take to Twitter and chime in with their reactions to the controversial call, which puts Guan in danger of being cut before the weekend's final two rounds.
It's been almost three years since the last slow-play penalty was assessed at the 2010 PGA Championship (via The PGA of America):
Gary Lineker was quick to respond with a fitting and hilarious tweet that instantly blew up:
Guan Tianlang given a one shot penalty. Very harsh on the 14 year old. Couldn't they have given him detention instead? #Masters— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 12, 2013
Meanwhile, Turner Sports' Rachel Nichols asked the question everyone was thinking:
Why start assessing this now? Slow all over course RT @pgatour: Tianlang Guan, 14, assessed a one-stroke slow play penalty at the Masters— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) April 12, 2013
Kala Andrews begs a similar question:
So 14-yr old Guan was assessed the one stroke penalty for slow play, when almost every round today is 5+ hours?— Kala Andrews (@Kala_Andrews) April 12, 2013
CBS Sports' Will Brinson only needed a handful of characters to describe his reaction:
Not surprisingly, ESPN's Rick Reilly opted for a sarcastic response to Friday's shocking penalty:
The 14-year-old Tianlang Guan got a 1-shot penalty on 17 for slow play. Yeah, he's been around here long enough, he should KNOW that.— Rick Reilly (@ReillyRick) April 12, 2013
Even Lil Wayne agreed; bogus call:
Guan shouldn't have the penalty. Shame on the Masters— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) April 12, 2013
According to ESPN UK, Guan respects the decision despite the potential consequences:
14-year-old Tianlang Guan admits he was "affected" by his one-shot penalty - but respects the officials' decision: es.pn/XwNPKS— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) April 12, 2013
GolfChannel.com senior writer Jason Sobel explains Tiger Woods' mindset:
If Tiger gets to 7-under and knocks Guan from the cut, don’t expect much sympathy. He likes the kid, but likes leading majors even more.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) April 12, 2013
If Guan is able to survive the cut on Friday, then the controversial penalty will likely prove meaningless. Unless he goes on to miss out on the green jacket by a single stroke.
But regardless of how his first Masters appearance concludes, Guan's got a bright future ahead of him, as he's looked like a seasoned pro through 36 holes at Augusta National.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.