At 14, Tianlang Guan Is the Youngest Player Ever to Compete at Masters Tournament

PHOTO: Amateur Guan Tianlang, of China, chips to the first green during the second round of the Masters golf tournament Friday, April 12, 2013, in Augusta, Ga.
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A stroke penalty almost prevented the youngest player in history to tee off at the Masters from advancing in the golf tournament in Augusta, Ga.

Tianlang Guan, 14, was penalized by officials for playing too slowly between shots on Friday.

But the young player from China prevailed, and will soon prove that he can hold his own against golf greats in the tournament on Saturday and Sunday.

"It's raining and the wind broke hard," Guan said of the penalty. "Unfortunately, it's my second bad time."

"I respect the decision," he said.

While the penalty may be debated by golf pros and enthusiasts alike, the young player's discipline, focus, and talent go undisputed, making him reminiscent to some of a young Tiger Woods.

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"It's one of the great stories…really in the history of golf, certainly in the history of the Masters," ESPN.com's senior national columnist Gene Wojciechowski told "Good Morning America."

At 5 foot 8 and 140 pounds, Guan has played in more than 200 tournaments in his golf career.

He started hitting balls at the age of 4, and by 5, he was already watching the Masters. He is the youngest player to compete in any major tournament in 148 years.

Despite the close call, Guan appeared undeterred and looked forward to facing the competition that awaited him.

"It's still wonderful," he said. "I enjoyed this week so far and I think I did a pretty good job."

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