BANGKOK -- One week after turning 14, Guan Tian-lang of China had a 6-under 66 Thursday to build a two-shot lead after the opening round of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.
Guan made eight birdies at Amata Spring Country Club to lead Daniel Pearce of New Zealand. Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, trying to win for the third straight year, was tied for 10th after opening with a 71.
Sponsored by Augusta National Golf Club and the R&A, the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship was created to encourage yung golfers across Asia. The winner each year receives a spot in the Masters.
The winner of the Asia-Pacific Amateur earns an exemption to the Masters and a spot in the final stage of qualifying for the British Open.
Guan won by 11 shots in his age division (11-12) last summer at the Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego. In April, he became the youngest player to compete on the European Tour at the Volvo China Open.