14-year old impresses veterans at the Masters - WRBL

14-year old impresses veterans at the Masters

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With the Masters beginning this week, many think of history, tradition, records, you know, old stuff.

 But there's one competitor this year who's forcing the tournament to think decidedly "new school"

In 1998, Mark O'Meara won the Masters, Mark Mcgwire set a new home run record, and John Elway finally won a Super Bowl with the Bronco.

Tinlang Guan doesn't remember any of that, because he wasn't alive yet. He was born on October 25, 1999, and at 14 years, 5 months and 17 days old, will be the youngest competitor in Masters history by almost two years.

He got here by winning the fourth-annual Pacific Amateur Championship this past November, again the youngest competitor in that field, so it'd be understandable if he was a bit overwhelmed stepping onto golf's hallowed ground.

"Um, not too much, but the greens were pretty fast and pretty tough, but they didn't really surprise me," said Guan.

 Now, at an age where most of us were thinking about getting our learner's permit, Tianlang wasn't alone out here. No, he had one of the PGA Tour's wise old veterans guiding him through his first trip around Augusta National.

"I played with a wonderful 14-year-old boy, who just, he was the nicest boy," Guan said. "But he just, trust me, he's a lot more mature than 14."

Crenshaw was not the only one impressed with Tianlang, Matt Kuchar marveled at his ability to stand amidst the tidal wave of history that is the Masters. But, Tianlang's first playing partner of the day got the closest look at the precocious young star

"I think all of us were asking questions like, ‘What were we doing at 14?' He's wonderful. You can tell he breathes golf. But he's very intent. And a good concentrator. I mean, you have to be if you're beating a lot of people over there," Ben Crenshaw said.

"We played together for nine holes, and he showed me some points to miss and we played together, and just had fun," said Guan.

Tianlang got to meet one of his golf heroes later in the day when he played a second round with none other than Tiger Woods. Who knows, maybe he'll take Augusta by storm like a young Tiger did back in 1997, two years before Tianlang was even born.

This isn't the first time he's Tianlang has played with Woods, they played a pro-am together late last year.

Tianlang told ESPN his dream foursome would be Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, and Tiger. He's halfway there.

Jonathan Huskey

Jonathan comes to News 3 from Fort Smith/Fayetteville, Ark., where he anchored weekends and reported during the week on some of the best high school sports in the state. More>>

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