After 26 hours of travel time from his home of Guangzhou, China, to Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, Guan Tianlang had already made history.
The 14-year-old Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion became the youngest qualifier to ever play in the Masters Thursday, shooting a one-over 73, with four birdies and five bogeys.
Guan is also the youngest player in any Major since Jack Morris in 1865, according to The Guardian, and he even shot a terrific 69 last weekend in preparation with partner American Ben Crenshaw.
Thus far, Guan has really only had trouble with his approach shots, showing prowess well beyond his years putting on the greens. Plenty of top, experienced golfers have folded at Augusta, further slimming Guan's chances of finishing any where near the top. No matter, his two rounds after Friday should stay with him forever.
Reportedly four years old when he first hit a ball, the eighth grader is much like any other teenager, playing basketball and hanging out with his friends, according to a profile by ESPN. Except for the calm, collected nature Guan employs on the golf course.
Guan has already gained five years on his hero Tiger Woods, who didn’t step foot on the majestic Augusta course until he was 19.
When Guan teed off at 12:24 p.m. Thursday, he broke the previous age record held by Matteo Manassero, now 19, who accomplished the feat three years ago.
The two were paired with Crenshaw, and Guan and Manassero are in line to make the projected cut of plus-4 after Friday’s second round.