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June 12 2012

4:31 PM

14-year-old Zhang replaces Casey

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14-year-old Andy Zhang during his Tuesday practice round at the Olympic Club.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Andy Zhang will become the youngest player to compete in the U.S. Open since World War II when he tees it up at the Olympic Club later this week.

The 14-year-old earned the opportunity on Monday when Paul Casey withdrew with a shoulder injury.  On Tuesday, he went out with the first practice group of the day – Aaron Baddeley and Masters champ Bubba Watson.

"(When I got the call), my mind just went blank," Zhang told GolfWeek. "Then, I said 'Wait! What? I am in the U.S. Open?' “

Tadd Fujikawa previously held the distinction of being the youngest post-war competitor when he played in the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot at the age of 15.

Zhang, who was born Dec. 14, 1997, was the first alternate after shooting rounds of 70-72 at Black Diamond Ranch in Lecanto, Fla. He is originally from the People's Republic of China but has lived in the U.S. for the last four years.

Zhang tees off at 11:21 a.m. ET on No. 1 with Mark Wilson, who won the Humana Challenge earlier this year, and Hiroyuki Fujita.

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