AUGUSTA, Ga. – Tianlang Guan left the Masters Sunday with the Silver Cup as low amateur and with the ambition to return here and play again.
Guan, the 14-year-old phenom from China who became the youngest player to make the cut in major championship history, plans to defend his title in the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship when it’s played in his homeland later this year. He can earn another Masters invite next year with a successful title defense, Oct. 24-27 at China's Nanshan International Golf Club.
“I will try to win it again, but it is not easy,” Guan said.
With a 3-over-par 75 Sunday, Guan finished at 12-over 300. He left his first Masters without a three-putt for the week and without recording anything worse than a bogey or a 5. Guan took 108 putts in the championship, 14 fewer than Phil Mickelson.
“There are still a lot of things to improve on,” Guan said.
Guan left Augusta National with a lot of respect for the golf course.
“It’s actually the most difficult golf course in the world,” he said. “To me, every single shot is difficult.”
Guan didn’t have much trouble claiming low amateur honors on the weekend. He was the only amateur among the six in the field to make the cut. He is the second Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship winner to capture low amateur honors. Japan's Hideki Matsuyama won the honors in 2011. The Asia-Pacific Amateur was initiated in 2009 with the winner earning a Masters invite.
Guan wasn’t going to celebrate his finish too much Sunday. The eighth-grader said he had some homework to catch up on. What classes does he take?
“In China, you don’t take a class,” Guan said. “They give you a class.”