14-year-old Andy Zhang to become youngest to play U.S. Open

Andy Zhang hits a drive on the 16th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament Tuesday, June 12, 2012, in San Francisco.
AP Photo/Eric Gay

(CBS/AP) SAN FRANCISCO - Paul Casey has withdrawn from the U.S. Open, paving the way for a 14-year-old from China to be what officials believe to be the youngest player in championship history.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.

"(When I got the call), my mind just went blank," Zhang told Golfweek. "Then, I said "Wait! What? I am in the US Open?"

Golfweek reports that Zhang, who grew up in Beijing, has lived in the U.S. since age 10.

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.