AUGUSTA, Ga. – China’s 14-year-old phenom Tianlang Guan was assessed a penalty for slow play as he walked to the 17th green Thursday in the second round of the Masters.
Instead of posting a 2-over-par 74, Guan signed for a 75, leaving him 4 over. With leader Jason Day finishing at 6 under, Guan made the cut on the number.
“I am sick for him,” said Ben Crenshaw, who played alongside Guan and Matteo Manassero.
John Paramor, a European Tour official working the Masters, said he talked to Guan four times about slow play before the penalty was assessed. He first informed Guan and his playing partners that they were out of position at the 10th hole. He spoke to Guan again at the 12th tee and gave Guan his first warning for slow play after Guan hit his second shot at the 13th. At the 17th tee, Paramor spoke to Guan yet again. After Guan exceeded the 40-second time limit hitting his second shot at the 17th, Paramor informed Guan beside the 17th green that he was being assessed the penalty stroke.
It is believed this is the first slow-play penalty issued in Masters history. The last slow-play penalty handed down on the PGA Tour was against Glenn Day in the third round of the 1995 Honda Classic. Before Guan, the most recent incident of a player being penalized for slow play in a major came in the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straights, when Frenchman Gregory Bourdy received a one-shot slow-play penalty. At the U.S. Open in 1997, Edward Fryatt was penalized for slow play in the second round at Congressional.
The low 50 scores and ties and anyone within 10 shots of the lead make the cut at the Masters. Guan finished tied for 55th, but was within the 10 strokes of Day's lead.
Paramor was asked behind the clubhouse if he felt badly about assessing the one-stroke penalty.
'I feel like that every time,' he said.
'I respect the decision,' Guan said.
How will Guan feel if he misses the cut because of the penalty?
'I think it's still a great week for me,' Guan said. 'I learned a lot.'