Chinese golfer, 13, to make European Tour history
April 18, 2012 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
Fifteen-year-old Lydia Ko is the youngest LPGA Tour winner in history courtesy of her win at the Canadian Women's Open. She was just 14 when she triumphed at the the New South Wales Open in January 2012, becoming the youngest player to win a professional tournament. She clinched the U.S. Amateur Championship two weeks ago.
Golf's young prodigies
Making the cut
The future star
- China's Guan Tian-Lang, 13, will be the youngest ever player in a European Tour event
- The Guangzhou schoolboy will break record at Volvo China Open, aged 13 years, 177 days
- World junior champion keen to make the cut in China and qualify for the U.S. Open in July
- Child prodigy is also one of the top pupils in his class
(CNN) -- Most 13-year-old boys would be happy to win their local golf club's junior tournament. But Guan Tian-Lang isn't like other boys. The Chinese prodigy is set to make history this week when he smashes the record for the youngest player in a European Tour event.
On Thursday, the world junior champion will tee off at the Volvo China Open at the tender age of just 13 years and 177 days, shattering the record set by Taiwan's Lo Shih-Kai -- who was 103 days older when he played at the 2003 Hong Kong Open.
Guan narrowly missed out in a qualifying event three weeks ago, but a last-minute clearance by the China Golf Association has given the Guangzhou schoolboy the chance join his heroes at Tianjin Binhai Lake Golf Club in an event co-sanctioned with the OneAsia Tour.
He will join an elite 156-man field including Ian Poulter, who finished seventh at this month's U.S. Masters, and the Englishman's fellow Ryder Cup star Paul Casey -- both former top-10 ranked players.
My goal now is to be the youngest player ever to make the cut in a European Tour event. I think if I can shoot level par or better I'll have a good chance to do that
"I really couldn't be happier -- I'm so excited right now," Guan said on the European Tour website.
"I was really disappointed to lose out in the playoff and I thought I'd blown a great chance to make history, but then to find out I'm actually going to play is like a dream come true."
But the talented teen isn't just happy to play -- he wants to create more history by making the halfway cut. His compatriot Jason Hak was 14 years and 304 days old when he did so at the 2008 Hong Kong Open.
"My goal now is to be the youngest player ever to make the cut in a European Tour event, and I think if I can shoot level par or better I'll have a good chance to do that," Guan said.
Guan is also aiming to qualify for the U.S. Open in July, but insists his success on the course has not hampered his studies -- in fact, he's one of the top pupils in his class.
"I don't take schoolwork with me when I travel -- I just work very hard when I'm at school in Guangzhou," he said.
"Actually I'm doing pretty well right now and my grades are high. My favorite subjects are English and PE."
Guan, who started playing golf as a four-year-old, claimed the world junior crown last year in San Diego by 11 shots on the back of a flawless first-round 63, featuring nine birdies.
He is now tipped to also become the youngest player to ever compete in the Australian Masters in November and Australian Open in December.
If he does play Down Under, he may have the chance to follow in the footsteps of New Zealand's Lydia Ko, who at the age of 14 this year became the youngest professional winner at a women's tournament in New South Wales. Japan's Ryo Ishikawa previously held the record when he won on the Japan Tour in 2007, aged 15.
"Anyone who has seen Guan play would not rule him out from making the cut -- he really is a talented young player. He displays a maturity well beyond his 13 years and doesn't seem fazed by spectators or the intrusive nature of the media," China Open operations director Alistair Polson said.
"Being a local player I expect he will receive a lot of media attention so I hope he does well and gives the fans something to cheer about."
Part of complete coverage on
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)
CNN travels to the Arizona State University where budding golfers are combining training with studying.
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 1648 GMT (0048 HKT)
In the next four months Matt Fitzpatrick will play in the Masters, U.S. Open and the Open Championship.
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 1648 GMT (0048 HKT)
With more prize money and less travel on offer, many of the top European players are now playing the PGA Tour.
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 1650 GMT (0050 HKT)
Edoardo Molinari gives you tips on how to get more spin when using the wedge.
February 17, 2014 -- Updated 1734 GMT (0134 HKT)
Henrik Stenson's accountant must be grinning from ear to ear after last year's incredible success. But the world No. 3 isn't getting carried away.
February 14, 2014 -- Updated 1831 GMT (0231 HKT)
Tiger Woods' career may or may not be on the wane, but the fortunes of his niece Cheyenne are most definitely on the rise.
Rory McIlroy looks to be back to his best, says Living Golf's Shane O'Donoghue, but you can never rule out a wounded Tiger.
January 28, 2014 -- Updated 2249 GMT (0649 HKT)
The year 1989 launched the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament and the baseball film "Field of Dreams" -- and they have much in common.
January 17, 2014 -- Updated 1119 GMT (1919 HKT)
This sub-zero snow challenge could provide the perfect off-piste adventure -- with the added bonus of seeing the Aurora Borealis.
January 7, 2014 -- Updated 1505 GMT (2305 HKT)
Remember the name: Jordan Spieth is only 20 years of age, but the golfer is already being mentioned in the same breath as Tiger Woods.
January 1, 2014 -- Updated 1005 GMT (1805 HKT)
Golfer Rory McIlroy and tennis star Caroline Wozniacki usher in 2014 by announcing their engagement on social media.
December 24, 2013 -- Updated 1213 GMT (2013 HKT)
Sergio Garcia puts his hand in his pocket to help out a small Spanish football team -- and gets to live out his dream by getting involved on the pitch.
December 18, 2013 -- Updated 1449 GMT (2249 HKT)
She's the teen queen of crazy golf -- at just 18 Olivia Prokopova has more Masters green jackets than Tiger Woods did at the same age.
December 13, 2013 -- Updated 1210 GMT (2010 HKT)
She's the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history and now teen sensation Lydia Ko looks set for a long and lucrative professional career.
December 13, 2013 -- Updated 1355 GMT (2155 HKT)
If the figures for childhood obesity in the U.S. are not shocking enough, statistics among Native Americans are yet more sobering.
Today's five most popular stories