Tianlang Guan, the 14-year-old on the verge of becoming the youngest golfer to ever make a cut at the Masters, was handed a one-stroke penalty on the 17th hole on Friday.
He finished Friday's round with a 3-over 75 -- four over for 36 holes, which was exactly at the projected cut line. The penalty could be enough to keep him out of the Masters. If that's the case, there will almost certainly be an uproar over the decision to hand him the one-stroke penalty.
When the officials started to convene on the 17th hole to discuss the penalty, Guan was reportedly made aware of the situation. However, when the penalty was handed to him, Guan's father "clapped his hands in disgust," and Guan appeared visibly shaken by decision.
Augusta National released a statement about the penalty:
Tianlang Guan was assessed a one-shot penalty for violation of Rule 6-7 of the Rules of Golf and the Tournament’s Pace of Play Policy. His group, which included Ben Crenshaw and Matteo Manassero, was deemed out of position on No. 10. Guan began being timed on Hole 12 and received his first warning on Hole 13 after his second shot. In keeping with the applicable rules, he was penalized following his 2nd shot on the 17th hole when he again exceeded the 40 second time limit by a considerable margin.
This is the first slow play penalty assessed on a PGA Tour since 1995 -- three years before Guan was even born. What's more, it's been nine years since a player received a slow play penalty in a major.