14-year-old Guan Tianlang has memorable debut at Masters

Tianlang Guan of China tees off on the 10th hole during the final round of the 2013 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2013 in Augusta, Georgia.
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AUGUSTA, Georgia Time for Guan Tianlang to get back to his homework. He already gets an A for his first Masters.

The 14-year-old Chinese golfer wrapped up a memorable debut at Augusta National by shooting a 3-over 75 in the final round Sunday, his experience not dampened in the least by a debated one-stroke penalty for slow play.

"It's such a great week for me," said Guan, the youngest player to make the cut at a major in the PGA era. "I learned a lot."

As the leaders prepared to tee off on an overcast day, some of the early finishers put up impressive scores - a sign the greens weren't as slick as usual, setting up the potential for quite a shootout on a crowded leaderboard.

Brandt Snedeker and Angel Cabrera were tied for the top spot at 7-under 209, one stroke ahead of Adam Scott, trying to become the first Australian to win the green jacket.

If Scott can't do it, a couple of his countrymen might give it a run. Jason Day, a runner-up two years ago, and Marc Leishman began the round two shots off the lead.

And don't forget Tiger Woods. The four-time Masters champion was just four shots back, a margin that would've been even closer if not for a two-stroke penalty for an improper drop.

Among those going out in the morning, Michael Thompson shot a 67, Ryo Ishakawa and Ryan Moore posted 68s, while Rory McIlroy and Keegan Bradley signed for 69s.

But it was a forgettable Masters for three-time winner Phil Mickelson. He closed with a 73 for a 297 - the second-worst score he's ever posted at Augusta when making the cut. He had a 299 six years ago, but that was in much tougher conditions.

Guan was never a contender to win, but his performance over four days was truly remarkable for the youngest player by far to play the Masters. He never had a three-putt on Augusta's perilous greens - well, he counts one from off the green - and his worst hole was a bogey.

"I played pretty good," he said. "I feel a little bit tired today. There are still a lot of things to improve. My short game's good, but I still need to be better. My driver probably needs to be a little longer."

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  • Guan made a couple of birdies on the back side, but took a bogey at No. 17 after knocking at shot into a spectator's plastic bag. At the final hole, he two-putted from about 40 feet for a 12-over 300, receiving a big cheer from the gallery and a handshake from Augusta National chairman Billy Payne.

    Guan can't take any prize money since he's an amateur. But he'll get a silver cup as the only amateur to make the cut.

    There are no plans to turn pro anytime soon.

    "It won't be too early because there are still a lot of things to learn, to improve," Guan said. "So nothing to rush."