Monday, November 5, 2012

14 Year Old to Play at the Masters

When I heard the possibility that 14-year-old, Guan Tianlang, had a chance to qualify for the Masters I did not believe it. 14. That is hard to believe. Guan's win at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship qualified him for the Masters. The age of players playing professional golf keeps getting younger and younger but it is unexpected to most that an eight grader would have the opportunity to play in one of the most prestigious golf tournament in the world.

Guan Tianlang
Guan will be the youngest player to play in a major by a month. Last summer at the US Open, Andy Zhang who was also 14 teed it up with the best in the world. The youth in golf is hard to believe but it is a good sign for the game. Many wonder where the future of golf is heading especially with recent struggles of Tiger Woods. The more talented youth in the game will make the sport more competitive and keep viewers watching.

Andy Zhang
Tiger was the clear catalyst for the popularity in the game of golf. With young talented players coming into the game, it is difficult not to watch them on TV. For many who play golf recreationally, it is nearly impossible to image someone at the age of 14 being able to compete with the best golfers in the world. That fact will make people want to watch.

Another positive from young golfers playing professionally is the impact on the demographics of the game. Many consider golf to be a sport that is only played recreationally by older individuals. If kids have golfers they can look up to that are only a few years older than them, they are more likely to go and try to play the game themselves.

Final Thought
For all the positives that come out of young talented golfers, we must be careful on possible negatives. Guan is obviously extremely talented, but he is only 125 pounds. Therefore he can drive the ball only a mere 250 yards. At many challenging professional golf course, that will cause trouble. The last thing that golf wants is to put young men on national TV on the biggest stage and embarrass them. Although these golfers must have extreme confidence to make it to the point where they are, it is difficult to imagine what one horrendous tournament can do to someones confidence. That being said, I can't wait to watch Guan at the Masters.


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