A Decade On From 14-Year-Old Guan Tianlang's Masters Heroics - Where Is He Now?

The Chinese amateur made the cut at Augusta National a decade ago, but where has his career taken him since?

Guan Tianlang takes a shot during the 2013 Masters
Guan Tianlang was aged just 14 when he made the cut at the 2013 Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The 2013 Masters is best remembered as the year Adam Scott claimed his first maiden Major win with a playoff victory over Angel Cabrera. 

However, another, less celebrated player, made headlines of his own that week – Chinese player Guan Tianlang.

The amateur, who qualified for the tournament following a win in the 2012 Asia Pacific Amateur Championship, made the cut and claimed the Silver Cup at Augusta National, eventually finishing 58th, but there was something even more extraordinary about that achievement – he was just 14-years-old at the time.

In fact, Tianlang made history just teeing it up in the tournament. In doing so, he became the youngest player to appear in The Masters, before going on to become the youngest to make a cut in a Major or PGA Tour event. 

The fact those records have yet to be broken a decade later highlights just how remarkable they were. But what became of the teen who beat the previous youngest player to make the cut in a Major, Matteo Mannessero, by almost two years? 

Two weeks after his record-breaking feats at Augusta National, Tianlang appeared in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on a sponsors exemption. However, despite once again making the cut, this time his finish wasn’t as impressive, coming last in the field.

Beyond that, other high-profile appearances, including a tie for 70th in the 2015 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, followed, although his career failed to take off in the manner many had assumed it would.

One of Tianlang’s most powerful attributes in 2013 was his success with anchoring the putter. Indeed, he found it so to his liking that he didn’t have a single three-putt during the tournament. Then, in 2016 came an amendment to the Rule 14-1b of the Rules of Golf, which approved an anchor ban that had initially been announced in 2012 and one of Tianlang’s most potent weapons was no more. 

Could this have hindered Tianlang’s progress, or was it just a case of too much, too soon for the youngster? It’s unclear. However, what we do know is that in 2017 Tianlang joined the University of Arizona’s Wildcats golf team and still showed signs of progress, including recording the seventh best overall performance through the year by a Wildcats freshman. 

After his sophomore year, he eventually turned pro in 2020 and began playing on the PGA Tour Series China and China Tour. The former tour disbanded in 2020, and Tianlang has more recently been found on the latter. Among his highlights has been a tie for fourth in the 2020 Volvo China Open. He also made six appearances on the Tour last year, the most recent of which came in December 2022, when he finished tied for 20th in the Chongqing Open.

Guan Tianlang takes a shot during the 2020 Volvo China Open

Guan Tianlang has played on the China Tour in recent years

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Will Tianlang emerge from the shadows to reclaim a place in the spotlight in the years to come? It’s not impossible. After all, even now he is only 24, while there are routes to both the DP World Tour and Asian Tour from the China Tour. 

However, at World No.2883, it’s probably safer to assume that, for one of the players who shone brightest in that memorable Masters 10 years ago, it may just have been as good as it would ever get.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.