On golf's biggest stage, 14-year-old Tianlang Guan continues to baffle golf analysts and make history, as the eighth-grader from China made the cut in Friday's Round 2 of the Masters despite being assessed a one-stroke penalty on the 17th hole for slow play.
ESPN Stats & Info points out just how special it is to see someone of Guan's age performing at such a high level.
At 14 yrs & 5 months, Tianlang Guan is the youngest to make a major cut in the modern era by nearly 2 years.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 12, 2013
Sitting at four over as play begins on Saturday, Guan has already made it further in the 2013 Masters than other established professionals such as Ben Curtis, Graeme McDowell and Louis Oosthuizen, which is an accomplishment in itself. But if you look at his performance through two rounds, there's no reason to think Guan can't continue his historical run in Round 3.
While the 14-year-old didn't birdie a single hole in the second round, he parred 15 holes and finished no worse than a bogey on the other three to shoot a 75 on Friday. That's not to say Guan doesn't have birdie potential at Augusta National, though, as he birdied the third, 10th, 13th and 18th holes in Round 1 of the tournament, finishing the day with a 73.
If you've watched Guan in the first two rounds of play, it's easy to see that he's not rattled by the pressure of the big stage and has an excellent approach to his game.
Had he not been assessed the one-stroke penalty on 17 in the second round for slow play, Guan would have posted just two bogeys on Friday and a 74 heading into Saturday's action. According to ESPN Stats & Info, you have to go all the way back to 1995 to find the last time a player was assessed a penalty for slow play.
As long as the youngster can make his adjustments sooner—such as adjusting his shots to the wind and reading greens and fairways more quickly—he should be on pace to continue his historical run through the golf world.
According to ESPN, the eighth-grader took Friday's penalty in stride, saying via Weibo (China's version of Twitter), "I hope I can make more miracles, more dreams come true. I want to thank my parents and everyone who cared, supported and helped me."
Something to watch for on Saturday during Guan's round is his approach on seven. The seventh is the only hole he has bogeyed in both rounds. I think if he can at least par that hole, it'll give him confidence to carry him through the remaining 11 holes.
Make no mistake about it—Tianlang Guan has already made history at the 2013 Masters. Advancing to the final day would only strengthen his story.
Guan will continue his run at history when he tees off at 9:55 a.m. ET on Saturday.
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