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Amateur Brandon Wu missing Stanford graduation for U.S. Open Sunday

Amateur player Brandon Wu watches his tee shot

Amateur player Brandon Wu watches his tee shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament Friday, June 14, 2019, in Pebble Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt York) Credit: AP/Matt York

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — There is no school of higher learning for an amateur golfer than a Sunday at the U.S. Open, so all things considered, Brandon Wu realizes he will be in the right place — even though it will mean missing graduation at Stanford.

“I think this is a pretty cool experience, too,” he said after shooting par 71 to finish the third round at 2 under — best of the amateurs. “I wish I could graduate with my classmates, but I think they’ll understand and they’ll be cheering for me.”

Many fans were rooting for him Saturday. He birdied the 18th hole to a chorus of “Wooooo” from people who no doubt realize that he recently led his nearby university to the NCAA championship.

Word is that spirits also were high in Westchester, at Scarsdale Golf Club, his home course in his hometown. “They’ve been super supportive, they’ve said everyone at the club has been excited and cheering for me,” Wu said.

His plan is to get home Monday for the first time since Christmas break, pursue an amateur schedule this summer, try for the U.S. Walker Cup team in the fall, then turn pro.

But what about that diploma? “They said they’ll mail it to me,” he said, “so hopefully I’ll get it.”

Willett revives

Danny Willett’s 4-under-par 67 was his best round in a major since he shot the same score on Sunday at Augusta in 2016, took advantage of Jordan Spieth’s meltdown on the 12th hole to win the Masters.

“A lot of good golf shots. A couple of scrappy ones in there but a couple of nice saves,” he said, after going 4 under for the tournament, adding that it was a relief and a pleasure to be playing Pebble Beach. “I think the U.S. Opens over the last few years have been primarily bomber’s paradises. Years gone by if you can hit it 350, you’re in a much better position. I think this golf course just kind of evens out the field in that way.”

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