Guan Tian-Lang: 13-year-old golfer to break record


Former President of the Philippines Fidel Valdez Ramos plays a shot during the BFA Golf Invitation 2011 on April 14, 2011 in Boao, Hainan Province of China.



When golfer Guan Tian-Lang tees off tomorrow he'll be making history. The 13-year-old from China will break the record for the youngest player in a European Tour event.

At 5ft 6in tall and 13 years and 173 days old, Guan is barely a teenager, but he'll be playing alongside some of the best in the business, like former record holder Oliver Fisher, Ian Poulter and Paul Casey, at the Volvo China Open, which starts tomorrow, according to the Daily Mail. And some of those competitors were suspicious of his place in the tournament, suspecting a publicity stunt, but Guan qualified to compete based on merit.

Guan narrowly missed out in a qualifying event three weeks ago, but the China Golf Associate gave the Guangzhou schoolboy last-minute clearance to play in the tournament, reported CNN. His next goal is to make the halfway cut, like his fellow-golfer Jason Hak did when he was just 14 years and 304 days old at the 2008 Hong Kong Open.

"My goal now is to be the youngest player ever to make the cut in a European Tour event, and I think if I can shoot level par or better I'll have a good chance to do that," Guan said to CNN.

And don't think golf gets in the way of Guan's studies — he's one of the top in his class, according to The Telegraph.

"I don't take schoolwork with me when I travel," he explained to The Telegraph. "I just work very hard and my grades are high."

Guan was only four years old when he started playing golf, reported BBC Sport. He has won many age group titles around the world, including the World Junior crown in San Diego last year by 11 shots after a nine-under-par 63 on opening day.

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