Masters: Tianlang Guan shoots 75 with penalty, makes cut
Tianlang Guan shot a 75 on Friday but still has a chance to make the cut at the Masters.
Guan penalized one stroke for slow play, for more click here.
Tianlang Guan stunned the golf world with a 73 on Thursday at Augusta, so it was no surprise that the 14-year-old backed it up with a 75 on Friday morning. He's 4 over for the tournament and ended up making the cut.
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The big story from his round, however, was that he was pushed to 4 over because he was assessed a one-stroke penalty on hole No. 17 for slow play.
According to a statement from Augusta National, Guan "began being timed" on No. 12 and was given a warning on No. 13. He was then penalized on No. 17, when "he again exceeded the 40-second time limit by a considerable margin."
According to Jason Ray of ESPN, it was the first time a slow-play penalty has been assessed at a major since 2004. A slow-play penalty hasn't been assessed on the PGA Tour since 1995.
With how big of an issue slow play has become, it seems a little ridiculous that this is the first time this penalty has been enforced in 10 years.
After his round, Guan told ESPN:
"I respect the decision. Still a wonderful experience for me. I enjoyed this week so far. I think I did a pretty good job."
He also said he switched clubs multiple times on No. 17 because the wind kept changing and was then given the penalty.
For all the times that we've criticized Ben Crane, Kevin Na and a host of other golfers, for a 14-year-old trying to make the cut at the Masters to be the one who is made an example of, well, it doesn't sit right with a lot of people.
Ben Crenshaw, Guan's playing partner, agreed after his round:
Ben Crenshaw on slow play penalty to playing partner Guan: "This isn't going to wind up pretty. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry this happened."— Sam Weinman (@samweinman) April 12, 2013
Guan didn't make any birdies on Friday but played steady in what is turning into a difficult day at Augusta National. At the time that Guan finished, only Steve Stricker, Paul Lawrie, Nick Watney and Thorbjorn Olesen had finished their rounds under par.
Guan made bogeys at No. 4 and but played every other hole at even-par. It's pretty impressive that Guan recovered from his penalty on No. 17 to par No. 18 and put himself in position for the weekend.
Guan is looking to become the youngest golfer to ever make the cut at the Masters. Matteo Manassero made it in 2010 at the age of 16 and finished T36.
According to ESPN's Ray, Guan has a chance to make additional history on Friday for his age:
If Tianlang Guan makes the cut, he'd be nearly 2 years younger than any player to do so in a major in the modern era.— Justin Ray (@JRayESPNGolf) April 12, 2013
He also has a chance to make some international history:
Tianlang Guan has a chance to become only the fourth Chinese player to make the cut at the #Masters. China has good reason to be proud.— Stephen Hennessey (@S_HennesseyGD) April 12, 2013
Like I said, Guan is still in decent position to make the cut as it stands right now. Here's how the cut works: the top 50 and ties make the cut as well as anyone within 10 strokes of the lead.
The leaders right now (Marc Leishman and Jim Furyk) are at 5 under, so Guan is currently within 10 shots of the lead. But if anybody finishes at 7 under, he's probably in trouble because 4 over (where Guan stands) is 65th place right now.
Guan has completed a stunning first two days, much better than anyone could have imagined coming into the tournament. Now, he'll wait and root for some high scores in the afternoon so he can stick around for the weekend.
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