2012 U.S. Open: Andy Zhang Breaks 80 In Thursday's 1st Round

The youngest player to ever compete in a U.S. Open broke 80 in his first round on the Lake Course at The Olympic Club.

Andy Zhang, the 14-year-old sectional qualifier who was added to field this week after Paul Casey withdrew, fired a first-round 79 and is 9-over. His round did not get off to a good start, playing the treacherous first two holes at 5-over par. He had a bogey or worse on the first five holes, but settled in a bit after that to maintain a reasonable score, particularly given the setup and conditions.

Zhang converted his first birdie at the short par-4 seventh hole, pouring in a putt to calm the nerves. He finished his round with his second birdie of the day on the iconic 18th hole. His approach shot on the short par-4 flew past the pin and onto the back fringe, but his putt back down the slope slammed into the back of the cup to break 80.

The David Leadbetter protege is in the clubhouse ahead of Steve Marino at this point, with a full afternoon of tee times still to play. He will tee off late Friday at 4:36 p.m. ET.

You can find a full 2012 U.S. Open leaderboard at USOpen.com.

For all your news and updates in the run up to the 2012 U.S. Open at Olympic, visit SB Nation's dedicated golf hub. Be sure to head over to USOpen.com for even more coverage from the event.

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