Teen sensation Guan balances schoolwork and golf ahead of becoming youngest ever Masters player
Phil Casey, Press Association
19:25 GMT, 8 April 2013
00:46 GMT, 9 April 2013
China's Guan Tianlang has done his homework, in every sense of the word, ahead of his historic appearance in the US Masters this week.
Guan secured his place at Augusta by winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Thailand last year and, at the age of 14, will become the youngest player Masters history when he tees off on Thursday.
The Guangzhou schoolboy says he will do 'pretty much all' of his homework while in America, but has found plenty of time for seven practice rounds at Augusta, with today's being alongside two-time winner Ben Crenshaw and tomorrow's scheduled to be with another double champion Tom Watson.
Juggling: Tanlang Guan, during the first Masters practice round today, will do his homework while in America
'I'm really excited in the morning when I come out on the course and there's many people here and I'm really looking forward to the tournament,' said Guan, who will also play the traditional par-three contest on Wednesday with three-time winner Nick Faldo.
'I'm not going to push myself too hard and I'm going to enjoy my game. Hopefully I can play well.
'The general manager of my home course is friends with Ben (Crenshaw) and he told him I wanted to play with him. He told me a lot and we really enjoyed it on the golf course.'
Picture perfect: Guan enjoyed his practice round with Tiger Woods on Monday
Guan has already played with Tiger Woods in a pro-am in his native China but will also seek out the world number one for a chat.
think probably we will talk,' he added. 'The players here are all great
players, so I'm looking forward to speaking to any one of them.
I was three or four years old I was looking at him (Woods) winning the
Masters and it's pretty exciting to watch him. I played with him twice
in the past couple of years and he gave me a lot of advice. Every time I
play with him I feel a lot better and give myself some confidence.'
Starlet: Guan will become the youngest Masters player in history when he tees off on Thursday
Guan's appearance at Augusta may have made headlines around the world, but world number eight Steve Stricker was still taken aback when he realised exactly how old the former world junior champion is.
'I knew he was playing, I knew he was young. I didn't think he was the same age as my daughter,' Stricker said. 'I thought he was 16.
'That's remarkable. I just can't imagine being that young and competing at this level at such an early age.
'It will be interesting to see how he does and how he handles it. It's remarkable that he's even playing.'
Final preparations: Staff in Augusta are making last changes ahead of the tournament's start on Thursday