Tianlang Guan. (Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, Ga. - For a brief moment, Tianlang Guan was Augusta's cause célèbre, a 14-year-old amateur who'd captured the sympathy of the golf world when Augusta National tagged him with a controversial slow-play penalty. But he made the cut on the number, and for a brief moment, all was forgiven.
Then came the Tiger Woods possible-DQ scandal, and Guan suddenly became yesterday's news, literally and figuratively. The slow-play penalty was a sidelight to the possible disqualification of the world's No. 1 golfer, and Guan was left to do what he came here to do: play golf.
And he did, better than you or I ever could at Augusta but not well enough to make much of a dent in the leaderboard. He carded five bogeys and finished the day with a 77, leaving him at +9 for the tournament and right at the bottom of the field that made the cut. The highlight, though, was a long — Guan estimated it at 20 yards — putt on 18 to save par.
Still, when he finished, he was parked between a couple notable
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