One day you’re all over national television. The next — well, if you’re teen golf sensation Andy Zhang, you’re back to hanging with your buddies in a store. For Andy Zhang, it was golf one day, shopping the next.The 14-year-old native of China became the youngest competitor in the U.S. Open, and for much of last week, he captured superstar attention at the Olympic Club as he took on the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
But Zhang failed to lived up to the hype: After dismal rounds Thursday and Friday, he exited the tournament with a 17-over-par score that placed him in a tie for 146th out of the field of 156.Then on Saturday — as Tiger and the others marched on — Zhang showed up shortly before noon in the U.S. Open’s main merchandise pavilion, shopping for knick knacks like everybody else.“He was cruising around, being a 14-year-old kid with his friends,” said salesman Eric Maddox, who was one of the few in the sprawling white tent who recognized the Florida youngster without his golfing attire. “He asked me where the head covers were for putters, and I sent him on his way.”