At age 14, Andy Zhang will be the youngest player ever to play golf at the U.S. Open Championship.
Reuters reported that Zhang, who attends school in the Florida, gained his spot in the 156-strong field at the Olympic Club when Englishman Paul Casey pulled out because of a shoulder injury. ”(When I got the call), my mind just went blank,” said Zhang.
“Then, I said ‘Wait! What? I am in the U.S. Open?’”
Zhang has been living in the United States since he was ten, but spent the bulk of his childhood in Beijing. Golfweek reports that he picked up clubs for the first time at the age of six and began to work with his coach Mr. An – a Korean – at the age of seven.
His mother, Hui Li, recognized Zhang’s talent and brought him to the U.S. to participate in several tournaments. Now with two junior championships under his belt, he will tee up at the $8 million U.S. Open, the second of golf’s four annual major tournaments. This year it will be held June 14-17 at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.
Since the U.S. Open was reinstated in 1946, following a four-year hiatus during WWII, the record for youngest player was Tadd Fujikawa, who competed in the 2006 U.S. Open at age 15, according to Bloomberg.