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2012 US Open Golf: Texas Longhorns' Freshman Jordan Spieth Joins Field

With Brandt Snedeker has withdrawn from the U.S. Open due to a rib injury, Texas Longhorns golfer Jordan Spieth will take his place in the field.

Spieth, two-time U.S. Junior Amateur champion, just finished his freshman year at Texas and was the first alternate for the U.S. Open, after missing a short putt to lose in a playoff at the Houston sectional qualifier.

Also, Paul Casey withdrew from the Open with a shoulder injury, making a lane for 14-year-old Andy Zhang of China to become what officials believe to be the youngest player in championship history.

The narrative at the U.S. Open was already about the Tiger Woods being the favorite and paired with his longtime rival Phil Mickelson and 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson, but now there's an extra compelling aspect to the story. Here's golf's toughest challenge going against a freshman alternate college golfer and a 14-year-old kid from China.

Visit our StoryStream to read more about the U.S. Open right here at SB Nation Dallas.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.