14-year old schoolboy set to become youngest player to compete in US Open
Washington: A 14-year old schoolboy from Florida is set to become the youngest player to play in one of golf’s toughest tests, the US Open since the second world war, as he replaces Paul Casey to create history.
Casey has been forced to withdraw from the U.S. Open through injury, with teenager Zhang taking his place in San Francisco, which led China-born Zhang to get a chance to ply his trade in the tournament, as he narrowly missed out on qualifying in a play-off.
Fellow amateur Jordan Spieth, a member of last year’s American Walker Cup side in Aberdeen, joined Chang in the main draw. Spieth takes the place of compatriot Brandt Snedeker, who is out because of a rib injury.
“[When I got the call] my mind just went blank. Then, I said ‘Wait! What?’ I am in the US Open? Who is Andy Zhang?” a daily quoted Zhang, as saying.
Zhang is due to play a practice round with Masters champion Bubba Watson on Wednesday, which prompted his caddie Christopher Gold to say: “You can play with whomever you want. Why not Bubba?”
Zhang will tee-off at in Thursday`s first round alongside Japan`s Hiroyuki Fujita, 42, and 37-year-old Mark Wilson of the United States.
Casey missed the first two months of the season, but after four missed cuts in a row on his return including The Masters at Augusta things were looking up when he finished 25th in Korea in late April.