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Teen sensation Guan makes Masters cut

updated 12:47 PM EDT, Sat April 13, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • China's Tianlang Guan, 14, becomes youngest player to make cut at a major
  • Guan shot a three-over 75 on Friday and is four-over for the tournament.
  • Australia's Jason Day sits one-shot clear on six-under following round of 68
  • Tiger Woods tied for seventh on three-under

(CNN) -- He was born in the year of the Tiger -- and China's Guan Tianlang will be hoping to mix it with a certain Mr Woods once again after rewriting the history books at Augusta.

While most teenagers take on Woods on their game consoles, China's Guan was busy making history Friday after becoming the youngest ever player to make the cut at a major championship.

The 14-year-old overcame a controversial slow play penalty to qualify for the weekend's action after carding a three-over 75 to leave him four-over for the tournament.

Read: Guan provides taste of China's golfing ambition

At 14 years and five months, Guan breaks the record held by Italy's Matteo Manassero, who made history at the British Open at the age of 16 years and two months.

Guan Tianlang of China shakes hands with Matteo Manassero of Italy after the second round of the 2013 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on Friday, April 12, in Augusta, Georgia. Click through to see all the shots from the second day and look back at the first round. Guan Tianlang of China shakes hands with Matteo Manassero of Italy after the second round of the 2013 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on Friday, April 12, in Augusta, Georgia. Click through to see all the shots from the second day and look back at the first round.
The Masters: Round Two
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Photos: The Masters: Round Two Photos: The Masters: Round Two
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Guan wasn't even born when Woods became the youngest ever player to win the Masters at the age of 21 back in 1997, but the two shared a practice round earlier this week with the teenager looking far from overawed.

He kept his cool on a difficult day where his participation in the final two rounds hung by a thread, after he was penalized on the 17th hole following a failure to heed the warnings given by referee John Paramor.

Guan is the first player to be punished for slow play in a major since France's Gregory Bourdy at the 2010 PGA Championship

Leader Jason Day, who finished on six-under, could have ended the youngster's hopes had he managed to gain one more shot.

But the Australian finished with a round of 68 to finish one clear of Fred Couples and fellow countryman Mark Leishman.

"I respect the decision they make," Guan told reporters following his round.

" I just changed my routine before the Masters, and the routine is good, but I think today is pretty hard because if you're timed only 40 seconds, it's pretty hard because you need to make the decision. The wind switched a lot. But that's for everybody."

Read: 10 things to know about Augusta

Guan's problems began on the 13th where he was given a warning following his second shot, before he was hit with a one-shot penalty on the 17th.

The decision split players and fans alike with two-time winner Ben Crenshaw coming to the youngster's defense.

"This isn't going to end up pretty, I don't think," Crenshaw told reporters.

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"I'm sick for him. He's 14 years old ... when you get the wind blowing out here, believe me, you're going to change your mind a lot.

"I'm sorry, I'm a player. It is not easy to get around this golf course the way it's set up for two days."

Read: Old school vs. New social

England's Lee Westwood, who finished three shots off the lead on three-under, also backed Guan.

"He's a youngster just learning the game and it's his first professional tournament, it seems a little bit harsh to me," Westwood told reporters.

"He probably learned to play slowly after watching us professional golfers on TV, so why should we be surprised?"

While there was a great deal of sympathy for the talented teenager, 1992 champion Couples says the decision was the correct one.

"The soft-coated answer would be I feel bad, but I also feel like they just don't go around handing out one-shot penalties here," he told reporters.

"I don't even know of anyone who has ever got one.

"It feels hard to give a 14-year-old a penalty, but he's in the field. He beat a lot of guys yesterday, whatever the age he is."

At the top of the leaderboard, Day will hope to finally end Australia's wait for a Masters Champion.

The 25-year-old finished second in 2011 but produced a sublime round of 68 to ensure his place at the top of the leaderboard.

Read: Tiger gives Chinese teenager helping hand

Tiger Woods had looked set to finish towards the top only for an outrageous piece of misfortune to cost him at the 15th.

The World No.1 hit his third shot onto the par-five 15th only for it to hit the stick and rebound into the pond.

Woods finished on three-under alongside the likes of Jason Dufner, Justin Rose and Australia's Adam Scott amongst others.

Read: McIlroy blames 'stupid mistakes'

Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy will have title aspirations of his own after hitting a two-under 70 to leave him right in the mix.

The 23-year-old, ranked second in the world, carded a level-par round of 72 on Thursday but produced a much improved performance during his second round.

"I made a lot of good putts for pars on the front nine," he told reporters.

"I mean I didn't play my best for the first few holes and the eighth hole (eagle) really got me going, really kick started me.

"Then I started to hit some really good quality shots. I took advantage of a couple of easier holes on the back nine, 13, 14.

"Anything under par today was going to be a good score and I stayed patient out there when I needed to and it was a good day.

"I'm comfortable with my game, I'm happy with this position going into the weekend," he said.

Defending champion Bubba Watson made the cut by the skin of his teeth after carding a one-over 73.

Watson is five-over for the tournament and in a tie for 55th place.

Several big names missed the cut including Ian Poulter, Louis Oosthuizen, Graeme McDowell and three-time major winner Padraig Harrington.

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