The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

April 12, 2013

Day leads at Masters, 14-year-old makes cut

— AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Jason Day is out front midway through the Masters.

Fortunately for Guan Tianlang, the leader didn't sink one last putt Friday.

Guan, a 14-year-old from China, became the youngest player to make the cut in PGA Tour history, despite taking a one-stroke penalty on the 17th hole for slow play.

Apparently the first ruling of its kind in the Masters' 77-year history, it gave the eighth-grader no margin for error if he wanted to play on the weekend.

Day charged to the lead and was in position to knock out Guan — and everyone else at 4 over, including defending champ Bubba Watson — when he stood over a 12-foot putt at the 17th hole. When the ball slid by the right side of the hole, Guan could breathe a little easier.

Then, when Day's approach at the 18th rolled back toward the front of the green, it was clear Guan would reach another milestone — two more rounds in the first major of the year. He already was the youngest player in Masters history.

Day, an Australian, shot a 4-under 68 that gave him a 6-under 138 total, good enough for a one-stroke lead over Fred Couples and first-round co-leader Marc Leishman.

Tiger Woods had a share of the top spot until a tough finish knocked him back. He struck the flagstick at No. 15, sending the ball careening back into the water. Only a brilliant little pitch on the do-over allowed him to save bogey at a hole where he should have had a good chance for a birdie. Then, on 18, Woods misjudged the distance just a bit on the approach, wound up on the back tier of the green and three-putted for another bogey.

He finished at 71 and three shots back at 141, a score that easily could have been two or three shots lower.

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