14 years old
So, let’s see at 14½ years old I was not getting ready to tee it up in the U.S. Open, but then again no one else has done that either. However we have the first and not only is he the youngest player ever to qualify but he’s from the current hot bed of golf, China.
Andy Zhang got a spot at Olympic Club after Englishman Paul Casey’s injury withdrawal. Up until now the youngest Open player was Tadd Fujikawa at 15 years, 5 months old in 2006. Zhang now lives in Florida, attends the David Ledbetter Academy and plans to graduate from high school in four years. Tuesday he played a practice round with Master’s champion Bubba Watson and Aaron Baddeley and Thursday he gets to tee it up for round one at 8:21 a.m. with Hiroyuki Fujita and Mark Wilson.
Think you can reach it in 2?
This weeks Olympic Club is a tough and severe and long test of golf. But in case you didn’t know, the longest hole ever in Open history is number Olympic’s 16th at 670-yards, the first of back to back par-5s. To put that length of hole in perspective, (and in case you didn’t know the pros were a lot longer than we are) for the typical weekend warrior based on average shot distances, 16 would be a drive, a 3-wood, another 3-wood and if he had three consecutive career swings there’d be only a wedge or 9-iron remaining.
To add insult to injury, 16 has a dogleg left fairway and if you miss the green to the long or left the ball will bounce even further away down a slope.
The odds of Rory McIlroy repeating as U.S. Open champion are somewhere between slim and none. In the past 61 years only Ben Hogan and Curtis Strange have won in back to back Opens.
Pairings done by a computer? Right!
Bubba. Lefty and Tiger in the same group. With all the fans following that group, hope you brought your periscope ‘cause that’s the only way you’re going to see anything of Mickelson, Watson or Woods, much less getting to see them hit a shot.