SALT LAKE CITY — Rhett Rasmussen is still a teenager, yet he’ll be teeing it up with the best players in the world this week at the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, New York.
Rasmussen, who turns 20 next week, will be one of the youngest golfers in the 156-player field in golf’s second major of the year. He is one of two Utahns in this year’s Open along with Salt Lake native Tony Finau, who is playing in his third U.S. Open this week.
Both players tee off in the afternoon wave Thursday with Rasmussen teeing off in the final group of the day at 12:42 p.m. MDT with Michael Block and Michael Hebert, while Finau goes off at 11:03 a.m. MDT with Luke List and Gary Woodland.
Rasmussen grew up in Draper and was a standout for Corner Canyon High before playing at BYU the past two years. Though just 19, he’s not the youngest player this week at the Open. That would be 17-year-old Noah Goodwin, the reigning U.S. Junior Amateur champion.
However, Rasmussen is one of just five teenagers in the field and the youngest golfer with local connections since Johnny Miller played in the 1966 U.S. Open as a 19-year-old BYU freshman.
As one of 20 amateurs in the field, Rasmussen is well aware his chances of winning this week, going against the likes of Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, are next to impossible. The last amateur to win the U.S. Open was a guy named John Goodman back in 1933 and the youngest player to win the Open was 19-year-old John McDermott in 1911.
Still, he’s hoping his experience this week will jumpstart a golf career that will lead to the PGA Tour, just like Finau, who has earned nearly $10 million in the last four years.
“I’m super excited but I’m trying not to really think of it as much of a different tournament, though obviously it is,” Rasmussen said. “I’m just going to try to get as much experience as possible and learn as much from other guys and play well when it comes time.”
Rasmussen went back to New York last Friday and spent a couple of days in New York City before practicing Sunday and playing his first round at Shinnecock on Monday. Several family members and friends are on hand, including his caddie Kai Ruiz, a former teammate at BYU. Rasmussen was able …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Sports News