Tuesday, June 12, 2012


A 14-year-old will replace injured Englishman Paul Casey in this year's US Open which starts on Thursday.
China-born Florida-based Andy Zhang, who had missed out on qualifying in his own right in a play-off, is the competition's youngest player since the Second World War.
Casey, 34, dislocated his shoulder snowboarding on Christmas Eve and is not fully fit to play in San Francisco.
"It's affecting my ability to be ready for the test of a major," he said.
Zhang, who was second reserve, beats the record of Tadd Fujikawa, who was 15 when he qualified for the 2006 US Open at Winged Foot. 
Who is Andy Zhang?
Born seven months after Tiger Woods won his first major
Brought up in Beijing
Began playing aged six and moved to United States four years later
Has been part of the Leadbetter Academy in Florida
"When I got the call, my mind just went blank," said Zhang. "Then, I said "Wait! What? I am in the US Open?"
He was due to play a practice round with Masters champion Bubba Watson today (local time), prompting his caddie Christopher Gold to say: "You can play with whomever you want. Why not Bubba?"
Zhang's coach Andrew Park said: "Andy hits it miles and miles.
"He's got a very good head on his shoulders. He couldn't speak any English when he got here, and now we can't keep him quiet."
He will tee-off at 16:21 BST in Thursday's first round alongside Japan's Hiroyuki Fujita, 42, and 37-year-old Mark Wilson of the United States.
Casey, who has also been beset by rib and in recent seasons, was ruled out for the first two months of the season following his accident in Colorado.

When he returned to competition he missed his first four cuts, including the Masters at Augusta in April where he shot rounds of 76 and 75.
He finished 25th in Korea later that month but then had to withdraw after nine holes of the Players Championship in Florida and pulled out of the World Match Play in Spain.
Rounds of 78 and 76 led to another cut at Wentworth's PGA Championship three weeks ago and Casey, who is down to 58 in the rankings, has not played since.
"You're always disappointed to miss time due to injury, but it's especially true when you have to withdraw from the US Open," said Casey, who was once world number three.
"I've been trying to play my way back and I feel like I probably came back too soon originally. I so want to play and it's so frustrating. I've got to get my brain to trust that I can't hurt it any more. It's amazing how the brain controls the body almost involuntarily."

"Andy Zhang legitimately won the right to compete through qualifying, but his inclusion brings golf into one of sport's biggest ethical debates. The question of how healthy it is for children to be competing in the adult world is being more frequently posed as more and more emerge from coaching hot-houses. 
"Zhang is a native of Shandong in China and is learning golf at the Leadbetter Academy in Florida. He is already 6ft tall, has a swing speed of 115mph and is playing and winning mini tour events. Zhang is certainly one of the big talking points at this US Open."

American Brandt Snedeker has also withdrawn from this week's second major of the season.
The 31-year-old has a rib injury and will be replaced by amateur Jordan Spieth, 18, a member of last year's beaten American Walker Cup side at Royal Aberdeen.



Post a Comment

<< Home

Copyright © Colin Farquharson

If you can't find what you are looking for.... please check the Archive List or search this site with Google