14-Year-Old Assessed Rare Slow-Play Penalty at Masters: 'I Respect the Decision'
Tianlang Guan, the 14-year-old amateur from China, got assessed a rare and unheard of one-stroke slow-play penalty at a major tournament for taking more than 50 seconds to hit a shot while the winds were howling on the 17th hole in the second round of the Masters on Friday at Augusta.
Guan said because the winds picked up, he changed clubs and was discussing the selection with his caddie. His group, which included Ben Crenshaw and Matteo Manassero, were on the clock for slow play. And rules official John Paramor decided to enforce a one-stroke penalty on Guan on the 17th hole. Guan parred the hole, but had to take a bogey 5 on his scorecard. While Guan seemed to be shaking his head in disbelief, he still managed to par the tough 18th hole by draining a par putt.
When asked if he felt he was wronged by the decision, the 14-year-old gave a mature answer, especially considering the circumstances, saying he knew the "rules pretty good."
"I respect the decision," Guan said. "This is the work that he [does]."
Ben Crenshaw, one of Guan's playing partners, said the penalty would be "worse" if it caused him to ultimately miss the cut by one stroke.
“This isn’t going to end up pretty, I don’t think. I’m sick," Crenshaw said. “He’s 14 years old. When you get the wind blowing out here, believe me you’re going to change your mind. I’m sorry, I’m a player. It’s not easy to get around this golf course.”
Guan finished at +3 for the round and at +4 for the tournament. At the time of this writing, the leader was at -6, which means Guan would barely make the cut because of the 10-shot rule. If the leader is at -7, Guan would not make the cut unless he was tied for 50th, which seems unlikely unless many of the players ahead of him collapse on the back nine.
He said his Masters experience was "a wonderful experience" and felt that he did a "good job."
There have been two slow-play penalties on the PGA tour since 1992.
There have been two slow-play penalties assessed on the PGA tour since 1992.
Two players--Steve Lowery in the first round of the 2004 PGA Championship and Edward Fryatt in the second round of the 1997 U.S. Open--have been assessed slow-play penalties at a major.