June 12, 2012

Andy Zhang Makes History

FJT regular becomes youngest U.S. Open participant ever

The last week has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster for Andy Zhang.  The 14-year old birdied his 36th and final hole of U.S. Open Sectional qualifying at Black Diamond Ranch to shoot 70-72 for the day, a score he thought just might be good enough to earn him a spot in the championship.  He quickly learned however that he would be in a sudden death playoff with Brooks Koepka of Tallahassee for the last qualifying spot.  Zhang made par on the first playoff hole but it proved not good enough as Koepka made birdie.  Zhang, a 2016 graduate, was relegated to the 1st alternate spot.

One week and one Paul Casey injury later, Zhang received the call he was wishing for from the USGA. On the other end was a spot in the U.S. Open Championship at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.  Zhang, a Florida Junior Tour regular made it to Black Diamond through local qualifying at Lake Wales Country Club.  By reaching the championship, the 14-year old Reunion resident becomes the youngest U.S. Open participant of all time.  That title had previously been held by Tadd Fujikawa, who participated in the 2006 championship at Winged Foot Golf Club at 15 years of age.  Zhang will be paired with Hiroyuki Fujita and 5-time PGA Tour winner Mark Wilson for the first two rounds.

Click here to view Zhang's Florida Junior Tour profile.

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