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Ben Crenshaw feels badly for penalized Tianlang Guan

Ben Crenshaw Tianlang GuanBen Crenshaw expressed empathy for 14-year-old golfer Tianlang Guan, who was penalized a stroke for slow play during the second round of the Masters on Friday.

Guan’s threesome that included Crenshaw and Matteo Manassero began being watched for slow play midway through their round. Guan, who set a record for being the youngest player ever at the Masters, was timed on the 12th hole and was warned on the 13th hole for slow play. He was penalized a stroke on the par-4 17th hole for exceeding the 40-second limit “by a considerable margin” on his second shot, according to Augusta National.

Despite shooting par on the hole, Guan was forced to sign for a bogey 5.

Crenshaw felt badly for the teenager.

“This is not going to end pretty. I’m sick for him. I feel terrible. He is 14 years old. I’m so sorry this has happened,” said Crenshaw, via Sky Sports.

“The way I understand it, he was warned after he walked off the 16th. He had obviously the most diabolical putt you could face and he made a brilliant two-putt.

“I’m going to say this; anybody would take time in order to get up and hit that putt. That’s number one. And then number two, I think our group was warned maybe once that maybe we were out of position. And that was on the front nine.

“When you get the wind blowing out here, believe me, you’re going to change your mind a lot. It is not easy to get around this golf course the way it’s set up for two days.

“There’s no question he played slowly at times. But he was working things out. The rule’s 45 seconds and it’s pretty difficult for somebody to do that in a tournament like this with conditions the way they are.

“It’s going to happen, but I’m really sorry. This is not pretty.”

Manassero felt badly for Guan as well, but said his playing partner was taking “a little too long.”

“When the caddie pulls the club for him, I think he’s ready. But most of the times that he takes a little too long he just asks questions that I think he knows, but just to be sure, just to be clear in his mind.

“We all feel sorry, but this is the way professional golf goes. This will end up being a great experience for him.

“We all hope he’s going to make the cut, but this certainly will be a very valuable lesson. He will never forget it for sure, and he will learn from it.”

So you have Crenshaw who is being more forgiving about the matter and blaming it on conditions, whereas Manassero understood the penalty and thinks it will help Guan in the long run. It seems like Guan, despite being 14, needs to just have more confidence in himself. This difficult lesson will help him learn that.