He may not be legally old enough to get behind the wheel of a car but 14-year old Andy Zhang will be driving golf balls down the fairways at the U.S. Open this weekend with some of the biggest golf stars in the world.
Zhang— who was born in China and brought over to the U.S. by his mother when he was 10— is poised to become the youngest golfer to play at the U.S. Open after the withdrawals of Brandt Snedeker and Paul Casey on Monday.
He narrowly missed a 33-foot eagle attempt on his last hole in regulation in US Open sectionals—losing to Florida State senior Brooks Koepka— and settled for alternate status. No, Zhang will now be teeing them up with the best pros on the planet.
The young man adds another side-story to some of the others shaping up for this weekend's field at Olympic Club.
Besides Zhang's historic appearance, there is Tiger Woods coming off his big win at the Memorial and the sudden demise of Rory McIlroy.
The previous youngest competitor in the post-war era was Tadd Fujikawa— who was 15 when he played in 2006 according to the US Golf Association.
Zhang— a native of Shangdong, China— started golfing when he was six-years old and brought to Florida by his mother after she quit her job to help young Zhang hone his special golfing skills.
It looks like the move paid off and — instead of trying to figure out girls or playing golf on a video screen like most other teenage boys— Zhang will be teeing up with Bubba Watson in a Tuesday practice round before making his 8:21 a.m. start alongside Hiroyuki Fujita and Mark Wilson on Thursday.