Guan, 14, Wins Asia-Pacific Amateur, Earns Masters Berth

Chinese prodigy Guan Tianlang, 14, became the youngest winner of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship after a closing one-under-par 71 gave him a 15-under total of 273 and a nail-biting one-stroke victory at Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi, Thailand.

Guan, the youngest player in the field, completed a wire-to-wire victory that has earned him an invitation to next year’s Masters Tournament. He has also secured a place in International Final Qualifying (IFQ) for The Open Championship along with runner-up Pan Cheng-tsung of Chinese Taipei, Asia’s No. 2 amateur, who shot a 65.

Australian teenager Oliver Goss (72) finished third at 12-under, two ahead of two-time champion Hideki Matsuyama (68), Asia’s No. 1 amateur.

When the Masters begins next April, Guan is set to become the youngest competitor in the history of the Tournament at 14 years, five months and 17 days. The previous record was established by Matteo Manassero in 2010, when the 16-year-old earned an invitation after winning the British Amateur Championship in 2009.

“I’m so excited. I’m really happy to become the youngest player at the Masters and looking forward to going there. I don’t know what’s going to happen there, but I know I just want to do well,” said Guan, who punched the air in delight after holing his five-foot par putt on 18 and was quickly embraced by his proud father.

“Pan really did a good job, so I just needed to focus on my game and get some more birdies and keep going. I knew Pan had a really good front nine, so I was checking the scores a bit on the back nine. I just thought if I got a couple more birdies I would be the champion,” added the Guangzhou-based schoolboy, the event’s first Chinese champion.

After posting earlier rounds of 66, 64 and 72, Guan started the final day two ahead of Goss. Guan, who weighs just 56 kilogrammes (125 pounds), opened up a five-shot lead with birdies at holes two and four, where Goss fell away with a double bogey.

‘Langlang’ dropped back with bogeys at seven and nine, but birdies at 11 and 14 kept him two clear of a charging Pan, who peppered the scoreboard with nine birdies.

Guan’s lead was cut to just one after a bogey on 16. Guan, who spends three months in Florida each summer, showed impressive composure to par the 141-yard, island-green 17th and the par-four 18th, where his 60-degree wedge shot from just off the green rolled five foot past the flag.

After inspecting the putt from several angles and wiping his face and hands, the laid-back teenager stepped up to hole the most important putt of his short career.

“I had a great up and down on the last hole. I was a little bit nervous over the putt,” said Guan, who averaged 250 yards with his driver.

“It was hot all week and it was a long course, not easy. Goss was hitting his drives 50 yards further than me and even his two-iron was 10 yards longer than my driver. However, I’ve had my mum and dad supporting me all week, and they gave me a little bit of advice so I just want to thank them.”

Pan put pressure on Guan with a sensational round. The Chinese Taipei star birdied the first, had a hat-trick of birdies from four to six and bogeyed nine. He started the back nine with four straight birdies, before his charge was again halted by a bogey on 14, but he responded with another birdie at 15 before coming home with three straight pars.

Goss, a quarter-finalist at this year’s US Amateur, also enjoyed a fine tournament. The Perth-based teenager recently won the Western Australia Open to add to his Western Australia State Amateur victory in March.

However, it will be Guan who now looks forward to following in the footsteps of 2010 and 2011 champion Matsuyama, who in April made the cut in the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club for the second straight year.

Guan, who plays at Lion Lake Golf Club in Guangzhou, is used to breaking records and making history. He was the youngest winner of the China Amateur Open last November, while his appearance in this year’s China Open made him the youngest player to compete on the European Tour.

Organised by the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC), the Masters Tournament and The R&A, the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship is the world’s most televised amateur golf tournament, aired in more than 150 countries.



关天朗以14岁之龄赢得亚太业余锦标赛冠军 取得2013年美国大师赛的入场券


曼谷 – 中国小将关天朗年仅14岁,成为亚太业余锦标赛最年轻的冠军,他在决赛当天打出低于标准杆1杆的71杆以总成绩低于标准杆15杆的273杆,以1杆之优势在泰国阿玛塔温泉乡村俱乐部夺得第四届亚太业余锦标赛冠军。

澳大利亚球员高斯 (Oliver Goss)今天表现平稳,打出平标准杆72杆的成绩,最后凭借276杆的总成绩获得本届比赛的第三名。企图第三次卫冕的松山英树今天表现出色,造出低标准杆4杆的68杆,最后以278杆位居第四。

关天朗将以14岁5个月17天之龄参加明年4 月的美国大师赛,成为美国大师赛历史上最年轻的参赛球员。刷新之前由意大利选手马纳赛罗(Matteo Manassero)保持的最年轻参赛记录。马纳赛罗16岁时赢得2009年英国业余锦标赛, 以业余选手身份参加了2010年的美国大师赛。



他在首3轮分别打出66—64—72,在最后一天,关天朗与高斯的差距是2杆。体重只有56公斤 (125磅)的关天朗,在2号和4号洞抓到两只“小鸟”而高斯则打出双柏忌,把差距拉开至5杆。

朗朗在7号和9号洞各吞下一个“柏忌”,在11号和14号洞分别“抓鸟”成功, 使他与潘政琮之间保持两杆的优势。潘政琮一共抓得9只“小鸟”。



挥杆平均为250码的关天朗表示:“在最后一洞的时候有很大的起落, 我在推杆时感到一点紧张。”

他再说:“整个星期都很热, 而且这个球场击球距离远,真的挺难打。高斯的击球 比我长50码, 而他用二号铁比我用一号木杆的击球也长10码。 但是我有父母一直在我身边支持我, 我非常感谢他们的鼓励和提示。”

潘政琮曾在其中一轮给关天朗不少压力。 这位中华台北之星先抓到了小鸟, 并成功大演帽子戏法在4号、5号和6号洞都抓到小鸟, 然后在9号洞吞下柏忌。 他在后9洞没有松懈, 连续抓住4个小鸟, 但在14号洞吞下柏忌令进攻停滞下来。不过,他在15号洞再次成功抓住小鸟, 并在往后3洞都能保帕完成赛事。

高斯是今年美国业余锦标赛最后4强的球员, 他十分享受这个比赛。 这个来自珀斯的小将最近赢了西澳大利亚公开赛,为他在西澳大利亚的业余事业再添一个胜利的记录。

现在, 关天朗以连续两年打进美国公开赛最后两轮的松山英树为目标,期待跟他一样,可以在今年成功卫冕,连续两年成为冠军并出战美国大师赛。

关天朗在广州的獅子湖鄉村俱樂部练习, 常常打破记录和缔造历史。 他在去年11月成为年纪最小的中国高尔夫球业余公开赛男子组冠军。他今年出战中国公开赛,使他成为欧巡赛中最年轻的选手。

亚太业余锦标赛是由亚太高尔夫球联盟、美国高尔夫球名人赛和英国皇家古典高尔夫俱乐部合作, 致力在亚太区宣传高尔夫活动。 比赛会在超过150个国家的媒体转播,让亚太业余锦标赛再次成为全球转播覆盖率最多的业余高尔夫球赛事。