Tianlang Guan, one of the stories of the first day at the Masters, shot a 75 today to finish at +4 after the first two days. According to pgatour.com, one of those strokes was assessed as a slow play penalty on the 17th hole, and it is the first time such a penalty has been assessed in a PGA Tour event since Glen Day in the 1995 Honda Classic. [UPDATE: Majors are not part of that data, and there have been two in the last 18 years assessed--Steve Lowery in the 2004 PGA Championship and Edward Fryatt in the 1997 U.S. Open.] It’s hard to believe that the young teenager is actually worse and more deserving than Kevin Na.
That one stroke could be a huge difference in Guan’s fortunes. He would currently be outside the cut line, tied for 58th, while one less stroke would have him in a tie for 49th. Guan will need the leaders not to get to -7 or better by the end of the day.
Former champion Ben Crenshaw, who was playing with Guan, had this to say after the group was put on the clock after the 12th hole:
“I think our group was warned once that we were out of position,” Crenshaw said. “This isn’t going to end up pretty, I don’t think. I’m sick.
“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.”
[photo via USA Today Sports Images]