The South African contingent in this week’s US Open will one of the youngest in the history of this Major as a new generation of the country’s golfers start making their presence felt at the highest level of the game.
Retief Goosen was the last South African winner of the US Open in 2004, and this week the quartet of Deon Germishuys, Thriston Lawrence, Wilco Nienaber and amateur Aldrich Potgieter will represent an entirely new generation attempting to add to the country’s tally of five US Open titles.
The average age of the four young South Africans who will tee it up at the Lost Angeles Country Club from Thursday is 23, with the youngest (Potgieter) being 18 and the oldest (Lawrence) 26.
The US Open has certainly favoured youth of late. The last three US Open champions have all been under the age of 30, and this year’s US Open field includes 13 golfers who are 21 years old or younger.
A total of three of the four South Africans will be making their US Open debuts amongst the 47 players in the field who are playing in their first US Open. Of the South Africans, only Nienaber has played in one US Open before this in 2021 where he finished tied 68th at Torrey Pines.
This year’s US Open drew a record number of 10 187 entries.