Paul Casey has withdrawn from the U.S. Open, paving the way for a 14-year-old from China to become what officials believe to be the youngest player in championship history.
Andy Zhang lost in a playoff at a sectional qualifier in Florida. He was the second alternate when the week began at Olympic Club. Brandt Snedeker also withdrew Monday. Casey pulled out because of a recurring shoulder injury.
Zhang has been part of the IMG Leadbetter Academy in Florida and is based in the Orlando area. Tadd Fujikawa previously was the youngest in the modern era. He was 15 when he qualified for the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot.
“[When I got the call] my mind just went blank,” said Zhang on the BBC website. “Then, I said “Wait! What? I am in the US Open?”
He is due to play a practice round with Masters champion Bubba Watson on Tuesday, prompting his caddie Christopher Gold to say: “You can play with whomever you want. Why not Bubba?”