The seven youngest players to compete in a PGA Tour event
06 Nov 2023
by Justin Golba of

see also: Guan Tianlang Rankings

Michelle Wie West in the 2004 Sony Open
Michelle Wie West in the 2004 Sony Open

This week at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, 15-year-old Oliver Betschart will tee it up as the youngest player to play in a PGA Tour event since 2014.


With Betschart qualifying for the event, we started thinking. Who are the youngest players ever to debut in a PGA Tour event?

Last week, 17-year-old Billy Davis Jr. posted a solid 2-under for 36 holes at the WorldWide Technology Championship but did not make our list.


So, here are the seven youngest.

Disclaimer: History tells us that in 1937, Don Dunkelberger played in the Chicago Open as an 11-year-old and withdrew after the first round; however, since there is so little information on that entry, we excluded it from the story. This is the same for Marshall Springer in the 1937 Chicago Open and George Burtoft in the 1937 Utah Open. This list is 1950 and on.

7 - John Oda

Age: 15 years, seven months, 22 days
Birthday: May 22, 19996
Debut: 2012 Sony Open in Hawaii
Finish: Missed Cut

Oda debuted on the PGA Tour as a 15-year-old at the 2012 Sony Open. He was the Hawaii High School Athletic Association Individual State Champion in 2012 and 2014 and was the 2012 and 2013 Hawaii State Amateur Champion. Oda set the tournament record in 2013 at 19-under and was the low amateur at the 2012 Hawaii Pearl Open.

6 - Bob Panasik

Bob Panasik
Age: 15 years, eight months, 20 days
Birthday: October 20, 1941
Debut: 1957 Canadian Open
Finish: T66

Bob Panasik was just 15 years old when he lasted all four rounds at the 1957 Canadian Open at the Westmount Golf and Country Club in Ontario. In surviving the 36-hole cut, Panasik became the youngest player to make the cut at a PGA Tour event. He proceeded to participate in another 13 Canadian Opens in his career.

In 2005, Panasik was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. His other accomplishments include nine U.S. Opens, 2 PGA of Canada Championships, 12 provincial titles, and 3 PGA of Canada Senior Championships.

5 - Tadd Fujikawa

Age: 15 years, five months, seven days
Birthday: January 8, 1991
Debut: 2006 U.S. Open
Finish: Missed Cut

Fujikawa, from Hawaii, became the youngest player to qualify for a U.S. Open in 2006 when he was just 15 years old. He participated in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club. Fujikawa is now a pickleball pro at Sea Island.

4 - Lorens Chan

Age: 14 years, seven months, 24 days
Birthday: June 22, 1994
Debut: 2009 Sony Open in Hawaii
Finish: Missed Cut

Chan received a sponsor exemption as the top amateur in Hawaii and went on to play collegiate golf at UCLA. He also played in the 2012 Sony Open after finishing third in the qualifier.

3 - Andy Zhang

Age: 14 years, six months
Birthday: December 14, 1997
Debut: 2012 U.S. Open
Finish: Missed Cut

Zhang was originally an alternate at the 2012 U.S. Open, but an injury to Paul Casey got Zhang a spot in the field. Zhang played his collegiate golf at Florida, but this remains the only major he has participated in.

2 - Guan Tianlang

Guan Tianlang
Age: 14 years, five months, 18 days
Birthday: October 25, 1998
Debut: 2013 Master’s Tournament
Finish: 58th place

Guan Tianlang, a golfer from China, holds the record as the youngest player to make the cut in a PGA Tour event. He was only 14 years old when he participated in the 2013 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Guan made the cut and finished the tournament as the low amateur.

He received a one-shot penalty for slow play during the Tournament. While playing at the Masters, Guan had practice rounds with Tiger Woods and Ben Crenshaw. Notably, Guan was born after Woods had already gotten his first Masters.

1 - Michelle Wie West

Age: 14 years, three months, four days
Birthday: October 11, 1989
Debut: 2004 Sony Open in Hawaii
Finish: Missed Cut

One of the greatest PGA Tour debuts of all time was 14-year-old Michelle Wie West, who shot a 68 in the second round and only missed the cut by one shot. She was the fourth woman to play on the PGA Tour and the youngest ever. She won the 2002 Hawaii State Open and was granted a sponsor's exemption into the Sony Open.

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