Guan Tianlang shot 4-under 68 and is one off the lead after the first round of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, where the winner will receive an invitation to compete in the 2015 Masters.
Australia’s Todd Sinnott leads the way after a 5-under 67 at the Composite Course at Royal Melbourne.
Sinnott, 22, lives in the Melbourne suburb of Williamstown and estimates that he has played the host course 30 times.
“I don’t think you’ll ever see Royal Melbourne play as easy as that,” Sinnot told media after his round. “In saying that, weather-wise, there’s not much wind out there and to be honest, there were a few friendly pins out there.”
Guan won this competition in 2012 and competed in the ’13 Masters as a 14-year-old. He notably received a slow-play penalty in the second round at Augusta National, but still became the youngest player to make a cut in PGA Tour history.
“I think it (the win in 2012) changed my life a little bit, but I think I’m still doing my own thing, still on the right track,” he told reporters. “I felt a lot better from the last couple of months going into this tournament, so I think I will give a pretty good performance this week.”
Guan will turn 16 on Saturday.
South Korea’s Gunn Yang, who won the 2014 U.S. Amateur Championship, shot 81.