Jason Sobel - November 5, 2012


With his win in the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, 14-year-old Guan Tianlang will become the youngest participant in Masters history in 2013. Tianlang becomes just the latest in a number of big storylines leading up to the first Major Championship of 2013. Sobel spoke with Guan Tianlang and he said that he was very impressed that a 14-year-old from China can speak English as well as he does. Guan said that while he understood the significance of being the youngest competitor in Masters history, he added that he also understood the meaning that this win has for golfers in his home country. He understands that this win could serve to help grow the game of golf in China.

Although Twitter is banned in China, there are millions of citizens who find ways around the ban and use the social media service. Guan Tianlang tweeted yesterday from Thailand and while it is not surprising that he follows the Twitter accounts of many professional golfers, it is a bit surprising that he also follows people like Britney Spears, Eminem, and Ashton Kutcher.

Guan Tianlang anchors his putter and has been using the belly putter since June of this year. He says that the longer putter makes him feel more stable when he stands over the ball on the green. It would be very interesting if this win plays a role in the banning of anchoring the putter because he would essentially be punished for succeeding with a method of putting that has been legal for decades.

Guan Tianlang was born in October 1998 and if you are looking for evidence of the Tiger Effect, you are seeing it in this 14-year-old Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion. He is just one of millions of young kids around the world who grew up in the game watching Tiger at the peak of his dominance in the game of golf and realized that they wanted to emulate that performance and that dominance.