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Wunderkind Guan Tian-Lang Becomes the Youngest Ever to Qualify for Masters

14 Year Old Guan Tian-Lang won the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship to earn an invitation to the 2013 Masters
14 Year Old Guan Tian-Lang won the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship to earn an invitation to the 2013 MastersRoss Kinnaird/Getty Images
Fred AltvaterContributor IINovember 5, 2012

Guan Tian-Lang, a 14-year-old middle school student from China, won the Asian-Pacific Amateur Championship in Thailand this week to become the youngest qualifier ever for the Masters.

Tian-Lang, who only weighs 125 pounds, uses a belly putter to work his magic around the greens. 

Even if the USGA and R&A rule to ban the belly putter over the next few weeks it will not affect Tian-Lang and his appearance at Augusta National.  The new rules will not take effect for several years as players will be given a chance to conform and practice with new equipment.

Matteo Manaserro from Italy was previously the youngest ever to qualify for the Masters when he won the 2009 British Amateur at age 16.

Augusta National and the R&A started the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship three years ago to bring a top-flight amateur event to the Far East and promote golf into the Asian market.

Tian-Lang shot a final round 71 and led all four rounds of the Asia-Pacific Amateur.  He had to make an up-and-down for par when he missed the green on the last hole to preserve his one-shot lead.

He was also the youngest player ever to play in a European Tour event when he was given an exemption into the China Open when he was still 13 earlier this year.

The Masters granted an invitation to the winner of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship to recognize outstanding golf achievement in the Far East. 

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