Andy Zhang shakes nerves at U.S. Open
By Nick Masuda, Golfweek
SAN FRANCISCO -- In golf, there is nothing glamorous about a triple-double.
Andy Zhang -- the 14-year-old who has captivated the golf world with his historic berth into the U.S. Open -- might want to save those triple-doubles for his favorite athlete, LeBron James.
"On the first tee, I was like, 'Just please don't hit a 100-yard slice,' and I was shaking really hard," Zhang said after his round Thursday at Olympic Club.
The nerves wouldn't disappear until the sixth tee -- when he was already 8 over.
"I told him, 'You've got nothing to lose anymore. We're 8 over,’” said caddie Christopher Gold.
It seemed to work, as Zhang played the next 10 holes at even par and carded a 9-over 79. He broke 80 with a birdie from off the green at the par-4 18th, which set off a thunderous applause.
"Great round, Andy!” the fans cheered. “Great round!"
Not exactly what you thought you'd hear for a guy who currently sits in 149th place.
"(Today's round) will definitely help a lot," said Zhang. "It's something that I can never learn playing junior tournaments. The junior tournaments, I start bad with maybe a triple or double, and then I can work my way in like probably finish around 1 over or even."
The opening triple featured a drive into a bad lie in the left rough, a second shot that disappeared into bushes after hooding it, a fourth shot that came up short of the green, a pitch that he had to hit under a low-hanging tree limb and then two putts from just off the green.
As with most teenagers, it was easy to read Zhang's body language. He was a bit rattled.
ABOUT THE U.S. Open
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most rigorous, yet fair, examination of golf
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