Missing Middle School to Golf at the Masters

Fourteen-year-old Guan Tianlang

Guan Tianlang cut class this past week to go golfing.

Who was he hanging out with?

Tiger Woods – and a whole bunch of other golf legends.

“It’s pretty exciting to watch him,” Guan said, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Guan is an eighth-grader from Guangzhou, China.

And a lot of people are pretty excited to watch him, too.

This past week, Guan was the only eighth-grader competing in the legendary Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia.

How much of an accomplishment is that?

Consider that some of the golfers he’s competing against are more than twice – or even four times – his age!

“I didn’t know he was the same age as my daughter,” fellow golfer Steve Stricker told reporters.

“It’s frightening to think that he was born after I won my first Masters,” Woods added, according to AP reporter Doug Ferguson.

At the age of 14, Guan is the youngest golfer ever to compete at the Masters.

He qualified by winning the Asia Pacific Amateur Golf Championship last fall in Thailand.

“He knew what he was doing,” Woods told the Washington Post, after watching Guan golf.

And that won’t be Guan’s last victory, if he gets his way.

“I want to win a major (tournament),” he said according to USA TODAY.  “And hopefully I can win the four majors in one year.”

Guan is not favored to win the Masters – not this year, at least.

But on Thursday, he finished the first round with a score of 73 – a very respectable score for anybody, and just three shots behind Woods.

“I have the confidence.  And I know I can play well,” Guan told Washington Post reporter Barry Svrluga, before the start of the tournament.  “I’m going to play like myself.  (And) I’m not going to try to do too much things.”

That said, just by competing in the Masters, Guan has already done much more than any other 8th grader in the world.

“(But) I’m not going to push myself,” he said – in English — according to the AP.  “I’m trying to just enjoy my game, play my best and hopefully play some good score.”