Fourteen-year-old golf phenom to play Jack Nicklaus's Memorial Tournament

Golf Tee

The 14-year-old Chinese golfer Guan Tianlang will play in the Memorial Tournament next week, it was announced on Monday.

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are among the leading professional players to have confirmed their participation.

The Chinese amateur has accepted an exemption for the event, which takes place at Muirfield Village. The Memorial founder and host, Jack Nicklaus, met Guan's parents at the Masters in April and said after the tournament that he hoped Guan might play at his event, which runs from 30 May to 2 June.

Guan became the youngest player to make the cut in a major championship when he finished 58th in the Masters, despite losing a shot when he was penalised, controversially, for slow play in the second round. At the time, the American Brandt Snedeker was among a number of players who questioned the penalty, saying: "I wish they would have made an example out of somebody else except for a 14-year-old kid, you know? Make an example out of me or somebody else. But a kid just trying to make a cut in his first week of the Masters? … I feel bad for the kid."

Guan won the award for the top amateur in the tournament, after finishing 12 over par with rounds of 73 (one over par, 72), 75, 77 and 75. He played the final round with Sandy Lyle, the 1988 champion.

"He hits the ball quite a reasonable distance at the moment and remember he's only 14," Lyle said. "In another three years you'll probably see a huge difference in his length. He seems to have a good game; his short game is very good. That's a nice thing to have. There's a lot of people that can play really well but they haven't got a very good short game and they're relying on the long game to carry them through. But he seems very tidy at the short game and his putting is very tidy as well."

Guan also made the cut at the PGA Tour stop in New Orleans, the Zurich Classic, but did not survive to the weekend at last week's Byron Nelson Classic in Irving, Texas.

Powered by article was written by Martin Pengelly and agencies, for on Monday 20th May 2013 20.21 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010