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Woods 'excited' by Guan potential

ESPN staff
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Tianlang Guan practiced with Tiger Woods before the Masters in April © Getty Images
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World No. 1 Tiger Woods has expressed his excitement over the potential of teenage Chinese sensation Tianlang Guan.

The 14-year-old will take on Woods and Rory McIlroy in a "skills challenge" on the Chinese island of Hainan on October 28, before the two professionals play out an 18-hole showdown - dubbed "The Match"- over the Blackstone Course at Mission Hills Haikou.

In April, amateur Guan became the youngest player to ever play in the Masters and also became the youngest player in the modern era to make the cut at a major championship. His impressive showing at Augusta National was marred when he received a one-shot penalty for slow play.

The trio will hit balls at three targets placed at distances of 50, 100 and 125 yards as part of a warm-up session and Woods, who was recently named PGA Tour Player of the Year for the 11th time, expressed his delight at taking on the youngster he practiced with at Augusta.

"The skills challenge with Guan should be fun," Woods said. "I'm really excited about his future and what he's doing for the profile of golf in China, so it's great he will be part of The Match at Mission Hills.

"I know we'll have a lot of junior golfers watching us that day and it's great that this has been added into the mix."

Guan admitted he is keen to learn from the pair and wants to emulate the success they both enjoyed during their early years.

"It will be nice to see Tiger again because he has been very supportive, such as when we practiced together at this year's Masters," Guan said. "I haven't played with Rory before, but we had a nice chat at the Masters and he also offered me some good advice.

"Both Tiger and Rory achieved a lot of success when they were teenagers, so I always appreciate it whenever they offer advice."

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