Tianlang Guan at Masters 2013: Day 4 Recap and Analysis
Amateur sensation Tianlang Guan may be near the bottom of the leaderboard to finish his 2013 Masters performance, but that isn't indicative of how he played Sunday and throughout the weekend.
The 14-year-old from China made history Friday as the youngest player to ever make the cut at the Masters. In doing so, he has dominated headlines as other golfers vie for the green jacket—and rightly so. Given his age, what Guan has been able to do at Augusta National is nothing short of breathtaking.
Guan posted a round of 75 Sunday, finishing his tournament at 12-over par and winning low amateur honors. The PGA Tour's official Twitter feed outlined his final scorecard:
14-year-old Tianlang Guan finishes the week at +12 (73-75-77-75). #Masters— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 14, 2013
The big story from his performance Sunday was his ability to stay composed, save bogey on some bad holes and hit big birdie putts.
After bogeying three of his first six holes, Guan looked initially as if he was going to continue his Saturday struggles. Yet he stayed focused, which resulted in parring holes seven through 10.
The 11th hole didn't start out well for Guan, as he found himself in some trouble outside of the green. It seemed like a double or triple bogey was in order, but a beautiful chip that nearly dropped in for par set him up for a bogey.
Guan would then par the 12th hole after this nice tee shot. It looked at this point like he'd begun the process of shaking off those early bogeys.
That would prove to be true. On the 13th hole, Guan reached the fringe of the green after two drives and came a foot away from nailing an eagle chip.
That left a 10-footer for birdie, which he nailed for his first of the day.
However, it was on the par-three 16th hole that Guan hit his best shot of the day. He landed his tee shot just three feet from the cup, setting up one of the most effortless birdies we've seen all weekend.
Unfortunately for Guan and his booming fanbase, he found struggles yet again on the 17th. After being penalized for slow play Friday, Guan landed his tee shot in a fan's shopping bag. But in his typical fashion, Guan bounced back and notched a bogey on the hole. A par on No. 18 finished his round at 75 and 12 over on the tournament.
Shane Bacon of Yahoo! Sports gave us some perspective on how that compares to one of today's legends, who was five years older than Guan at the time.
14-year-old Tianlang Guan ends the week at 12-over. Tiger's first Masters, in '95, had him finish 5-over.— Shane Bacon (@shanebacon) April 14, 2013
Perhaps the most exhilarating fact of Guan's Masters performance was that he avoided a double bogey or worse all weekend. Even Brandt Snedeker, tied for the lead heading into Sunday, notched a double bogey. Guan was also one of the only players in the field to avoid a three-putt all tournament.
The stats and facts keep piling up to make the case that Guan showcased a historic performance at Augusta National this weekend. Just the fact that he made the cut is astounding, but when you add in the lack of double bogeys and three-putts, it's just unbelievable.
There's no telling what the future holds for Guan, but it's safe to say that he earned all of our attention this weekend with one of the best amateur performances we've ever seen. If he can keep improving as the years pass, there's no doubt he could contend for majors before his amateur status is up.
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