14-year-old Guan wins Asia-Pacifc Amateur

The 14-year-old Chinese golfer Guan Tianlang won the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at the Amata Spring Country Club, Thailand and in the process earned his spot at the US Masters next April.

Guan had a five-stroke lead through 36 holes that became just two heading into the final round. That lead fluctuated for most of the day and he was down to just one stroke over Taiwan’s Pan Cheng-Tsung heading to the last hole.

Guan Tianlang 14-year-old Chinese golf prodigy Guan Tianlang holds the winner’s trophy (Credit: Paul Lakatos/AAC)

Guan completed a wire-to-wire victory, making a 5-foot par putt on the final hole to finish at 15-under and for a one-shot win over Pan Cheng-tsung, the second-ranked amateur in Asia, who made par on the 18th hole for a 65.

Along with his Masters berth, Guan earns a spot in the final stage of qualifying for the British Open. Pan also gets a start in the British Open qualifier.

Australia’s Oliver Goss finished in third place at 12-under, closing with a 72 after earlier rounds of 70-65-69, while Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, Asia’s number one ranked amateur, was fourth.

Guan is believed to be the youngest male to play in a major championship. Andy Zhang of China, who trained at a golf academy in Florida, was 14 years, 6 months when he qualified for the US Open last summer at The Olympic Club. Guan would be a month younger.

Guan started playing when he was just four, going to the golf course with his parents. He goes to California for about three months during the year, staying with relatives in Los Angeles and San Diego to train.

He first got attention last year at the Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego when he won his age division (11-12) by 11 shots.

Overall this was a successful tournament for the Australians with five Aussies recording top-10 finishes.

James McMillian finished in 5th position at 9-under with rounds of 73-69-69-68, with Nathan Holman, Cameron Smith and Brett Drewitt in a tied for 7th at 6-under, which included an impressive second round 64 from Holman.