It is probably not a familiar scene to witness a 14 year old taking part in golf Masters Tournament, but as it would be, the mere mention of the name Guan Tianlang, obviously presents an exception and a tingle to the ears. Born in the city of Guangzhou in China, on October 25, 1998, the 14 year old youngster was able to qualify for the 2013 Masters Tournament by winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in 2012, a game hosted in Thailand. Guan shocked everyone by making flawless shots of 65, 64, 71 and 72 and secured himself the championship. He Started playing golf aged 4.
After winning the championship, in an interview, Guan said, “I’m really proud of myself”, he also added, “I think it really helps Chinese golf. They will train even harder. I’m very happy about it. The game changer for the youngster came when he was able to putt the 72nd hole by utilizing his belly putter, a common sight for him on the greens; he celebrated by punching the air, a sure sign of victory. This single move brought back a nostalgia feeling to observers and spectators, who without a doubt compared the move to signatory moves made by Tiger woods. When asked about the World’s golf champion, Guan replied saying he had met the Golf superstar a couple of times and even had the privilege of playing practice rounds with both Woods and Ben Crenshaw before the tournament.
In his own words, Tiger woods had this to say about Guan, “It’s frightening to think that he was born after I won my first Masters. I mean, that’s just frightening. It’s exciting that I have inspired kids to play and not just here in the States but obviously in China and around the world. Guan on the other hand confessed to having a great feeling just playing with Woods and how much confidence he’s gained from the experience.
Guan Tianlang is known to average just about 250 yards from the tee and before he won the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, he was able to surpass his competition by winning the 11-12 division of the 2011 Junior World Golf Championship with just 11 strokes. This victory was the requirement for a position in the 2012 China Open; at this point, Guan had taken the title to become the world’s youngest player to participate in a European Tour event. In an interview with another amateur, Oliver Goss, he had this to say about Guan, “He is too young to be intimidated”.
Let’s start to enroll your kids to junior golf lessons that nurtures their interest and stresses having fun.