Golf

Masters in sight for 14-year-old

China's Guan Tianlang, 14, leads the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.
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Could we see a teenager in the Masters next year?

China’s Guan Tianlang, who turned 14 last week, shot 6-under-par 66 Thursday at Thailand's Amata Spring Country Club to take the first-round lead at the Asia-Pacific Amateur. The tournament’s winner earns an invitation to the 2013 Masters.

Guan is two shots ahead of New Zealand’s Daniel Pearce, who shot 5-under 31 on his back nine to post 68.

Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, winner of the past two Asia-Pacific Amateurs, opened with 71 and is in 10th place. Matsuyama, No. 7 in the R&A World Amateur Ranking, has made the cut in the past two Masters.

Guan made eight birdies and two bogeys on Thursday in Bangkok, Thailand. He bogeyed the par-4 18th to keep from taking an even larger lead.

“My putting was fantastic today. The course is outstanding, and I felt really good,” said Guan, who’s making his debut in this championship.

HSBC CHAMPIONS

After first round, Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen share lead at HSBC Champions.

In 2011, Guan romped to an 11-stroke victory in the 11-12 division in the Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego before becoming the youngest-ever winner of the China Amateur Open in November. At this year’s Volvo China Open in April, the Guangzhou-based schoolboy made global headlines by becoming the youngest player to compete in a European Tour event.

Other notable scores:

• US Amateur quarterfinalist Oliver Goss is tied for 6 after shooting 2-under 70.

• Oregon’s Jonathan Woo is tied for 10th after shooting 71, including an eagle on the par-5 11th hole.

• UCLA All-American Anton Arboleda shot 73 and is tied for 19th.

• Washington sophomore Cheng-Tsung Pan, No. 3 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, opened with 75 and is in 35th place. Pan made the turn in even-par, but shot 3-over 39 on his back nine.

• Rico Hoey, who beat Beau Hossler at this year’s Junior World and has made a verbal commitment to USC, also shot 75.

• US Junior champion Andy Hyeon Bo Shim shot 77 and is tied for 49th.

Tagged: Cheng-tsung Pan

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