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:
Golf Channel @GolfChannel
Video: Tianlang Guan (+4) assessed 1-stroke penalty for slow play at #Masters -> Experts’ Reaction: http://t.co/LOwuksCovb2013-4-12 20:31:15
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):
PGA of America @pgaofamerica
Slow-play penalty today at #Masters is first at a major since Gregory Bourdy at the 2010 PGA - see note: http://t.co/isrG4tVoyN2013-4-12 19:53:33
Gary Lineker was quick to respond with a fitting and hilarious tweet that instantly blew up:
Gary Lineker @GaryLineker
Guan Tianlang given a one shot penalty. Very harsh on the 14 year old. Couldn't they have given him detention instead? #Masters2013-4-12 19:21:48
Meanwhile, Turner Sports' Rachel Nichols asked the question everyone was thinking:
Rachel Nichols @Rachel__Nichols
Why start assessing this now? Slow all over course RT @PGATOUR: Tianlang Guan, 14, assessed a one-stroke slow play penalty at the Masters2013-4-12 18:58:02
Kala Andrews begs a similar question:
Kala Andrews @Kala_Andrews
So 14-yr old Guan was assessed the one stroke penalty for slow play, when almost every round today is 5+ hours?2013-4-12 21:02:35
CBS Sports' Will Brinson only needed a handful of characters to describe his reaction:
Will Brinson @WillBrinson
Stunned. 14-year-old Tianlang Guan handed one-stroke penalty for slow play at Masters http://t.co/Cl2p61YN5X via @cbssports2013-4-12 18:45:50
Not surprisingly, ESPN's Rick Reilly opted for a sarcastic response to Friday's shocking penalty:
Rick Reilly @ReillyRick
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.2013-4-12 18:37:11
Even Lil Wayne agreed; bogus call:
Lil Wayne WEEZY F @LilTunechi
Guan shouldn't have the penalty. Shame on the Masters2013-4-12 19:36:35
According to ESPN UK, Guan respects the decision despite the potential consequences:
ESPN UK @ESPNUK
14-year-old Tianlang Guan admits he was "affected" by his one-shot penalty - but respects the officials' decision: http://t.co/AhznxLoihT2013-4-12 19:41:49
GolfChannel.com senior writer Jason Sobel explains Tiger Woods' mindset:
Jason Sobel @JasonSobelESPN
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.2013-4-12 21:00:33
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.