Dublin, Ohio – Officials of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance announced today that 14-year-old Chinese amateur sensation Guan Tianlang has accepted an exemption to compete in the 38th edition of the Memorial, May 27 – Jun 2 at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Guan last month became the youngest player to make a cut in a major championship in PGA TOUR history when he finished 58th at The Masters Tournament with a 12-over-par 300 aggregate total. His invitation to the first major of the season came by way of his victory at the 2012 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship. A native of Guangzhou, China, Guan followed up his performance at Augusta National Golf Club by making the cut two weeks later at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, where he finished 71st at 4-over 292. Last week he missed the cut at the HP Byron Nelson Championship after rounds of 70 and 77.
“I am very excited to accept the invitation to play at the Memorial Tournament,” Guan said. “It is Jack Nicklaus’ event, and the same as all the golf fans out there I have very high respect to Mr. Nicklaus, not just as a golf legend, but also as a great person. He has been actively involved in the development of golf in China, and junior golf development worldwide, and as a junior golfer myself I appreciate what he has done to help us grow. My parents and I got the chance to meet him in person at the Masters, and that was one of the highlights of my week at Augusta National. I appreciate a lot the Memorial Tournament for having me there, and it is going to be a great week.”
Guan is ranked No. 78 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
“The Memorial Tournament has been a strong supporter of amateur golf since its inception, and each year the winners of both the U.S. Amateur and British Amateur are always invited to participate,” said Memorial Tournament Founder and Host Jack Nicklaus. “With the Asia Pacific Amateur Championship becoming such an important event in the game of golf, and with the winner earning an invitation to The Masters Tournament and a spot in International Final Qualifying for the British Open, the Captains Club thought it was only appropriate to offer an invitation to the Memorial Tournament. We hope that in the future, we can make this a standard policy with our exemptions.
“I have had the fortunate pleasure of spending time with Guan and his family, and I have found him to be mature beyond his years and very passionate about his development in the game. The performance of this young 14-year-old—who, mind you, is just an eighth-grader—in making the cut at the Masters and then in New Orleans was fantastic. Winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur was a great achievement in and of itself, but his maturity, composure and competitiveness in these two significant events sends a message that this young man has a wonderful future. For the growth of the game internationally, he is a role model for all aspiring Asian amateurs, as well as young boys and girls around the globe, so it is only appropriate to give him another opportunity to compete on a world-class stage.”