The 14-year-old was the youngest golfer to make the cut at a major championship when he did so at last month’s Masters. And while he’s also the youngest player to wield a long putter in a tour event, we’re sure Tuesday’s USGA/R&A announcement banning anchored putting strokes like the one he employs, had nothing to do with the phenom’s change of plans.
Conspiracy theorists may see a grassy knoll somewhere in the kid’s decision to accept a sponsor exemption to next week’s Memorial Tournament while turning down the opportunity to qualify for the men’s second major, which is a USGA event. After all, Guan’s status as Asia Pacific Amateur champ granted him an exemption from the local qualifying round, but now he’ll eschew the June 3 Dallas qualifier.
Guan, however, told the USGA he would not play last week, according to Gray, who quoted a USGA spokesperson as saying the golfer believed it was too much for him to play Jack’s tourney and attempt an Open qualifier as well.
Guan has certainly been playing a lot of golf stateside of late. After sharing 58th place at Augusta, which was one of two cuts he made in his first three pro starts, Guan missed the cut at last week’s Byron Nelson Championship.
Looking ahead to playing all four days of the Memorial in Ohio, Guan apparently believed it would be too difficult to make his way back to Texas in time for the Monday qualifier. Gray noted, however, that two sectional qualifiers will take place within about an hour of the Memorial’s Muirfield Village on June 3.