Who is the youngest golfer to have competed at the U.S. Open?

U.S. Open - Preview Day 2
Andy Zhang, 2012 U.S. Open (Image via Getty)

The 2024 U.S. Open will take place in June at the Pinehurst No. 2 course. Local qualifying events by the USGA have started this week with more than 10,000 entries.

Andy Zhang is the youngest player to compete at the U.S. Open at 14 years of age in 2012. The previous record was held by Tadd Fujikawa at 15 years old at the 2006 U.S. Open.

Despite losing a playoff at the Qualifying event, the 14-year-old received a spot on the 2012 U.S. Open field after Paul Casey withdrew from the tournament due to an injury.

Zhang was born in China and moved to Florida at the age of 10 to attend the IMG Academy to further his skills and education. Andy Zhang played for the University of Florida for two years before turning professional in 2018.

Zhang missed the half-way cut at the 2012 U.S. Open. Despite this result, his performance caught the attention of many professionals. Rory McIlroy went on to say in a PGA Tour interview at the time:

"When I was 12, I was getting ready to play in my club championship, not the U.S. Open. So I'm not sure I could give him any words of wisdom."

Youngest U.S. Open winners

John McDermott won the 1911 U.S. Open at 19 years old. McDermott was tied with Mike Brady and George Simpson after the final round and proceeded to play an 18-hole playoff the next day and win.

McDermott was the first American to win the U.S. Open. He made history by becoming the first player to break par through four rounds of a Major.

Francis Ouimet is the second youngest to win the U.S. Open at 20 years old in 1913. Ouimet defeated Ted Ray and Harry Vardon in an 18-hole playoff.

Ouimet became the first amateur to win the U.S. Open, earning the nickname 'the father of amateur golf.' He went on to become the Captain of St. Andrews and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

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