AUGUSTA, Ga. — Hope springs eternal at every Masters, so it’s no surprise that a 53-year-old, a 14-year-old, and someone who said he doesn’t have what it takes to win major championships grabbed the first-round headlines.
On a benign day that offered the opportunity to go low at Augusta National Golf Club, a number of bold-faced names obliged, with 12 scores below 70, and 32 under par.
But it was actually an over-par round that had the place buzzing.
While his eighth-grade classmates were probably fast asleep half a world away, Chinese teenager Tianlang Guan made Masters history on Thursday, becoming the tournament’s youngest competitor, at 14 years, 5 months. Then he went out and shot a 1-over-par 73, capping his historic round by holing a birdie putt from the fringe on No. 18.
He’s seven shots behind leaders Sergio Garcia and Marc Leishman, and tied for 46th. But Guan youthfully embraced the moment, captivating crowds, charming the media, splitting fairways, and displaying a short game that had two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw applauding.
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