Clemson assistant coach Heather Young begins play in US Open on Thursday

Clemson, S.C. — Current Clemson Assistant Women’s Golf Coach Heather Young will begin play at the United States Women’s Open at the Country Club of Charleston in Charleston, SC on Thursday.   It will be her first appearance in a professional golf tournament since 2017 and her first appearance in the US Open since 2012.

Young qualified through a 36-hole sectional qualifier in Greensboro earlier this month.  She had rounds of 72-70 at the Starmount Forest Country Club.  Her 142 total was just one shot behind medalist Jennifer Kupcho of Wake Forest, the number-one amateur in the world who won the Augusta National Women’s Amateur last month. Young tied Gina Kim, a member of Duke’s National Championship team for second place, but  Kim beat Young in a playoff, making Young an alternate.  A few days later Young received a call that she had a spot as one of the top alternates.

“I decided to try to qualify because of the proximity of the sectional (Greensboro) and of the tournament itself,” said Young, who just completed here third year as Kelley Hester’s assistant coach.   “I am very excited to make it and I think our players are even more excited for me.”

Young, 44, had a 16-year career on the LPGA before coming to Clemson.  She had 28 Top 10 finishes in her career, and had top 15 finishes in four different Majors, including a 13th place finish at the 2005 US Open.   She finished third at the Women’s British Open in 2004 and sixth at the Women’s PGA in 2000.  She was also named to the 2003 US Solheim Cup team.

In college she played on two National Championship teams at the University of Arizona, then won the individual National Championship at the University of Texas in 1997 when she was named National Player of the Year.

Hester will serve as Young’s caddy for the US Open.  “We are doing this for Clemson golf,” said Young.  “It will be a great experience. We are going to see what the best players in the world are doing and will bring that knowledge back to Clemson.”

Hester played in the 1996 US Open and served as a caddy for Stacy Lewis in 2007.  Lewis, one of the top players currently on the LPGA, played for Hester at Arkansas.

Young and Hester have led the Clemson program to the NCAA Tournament each of the last three years, including a number-20 national finish in 2017, the first top 20 in the program’s young history.

Young will play with Albane Valenzuela and Hannah Green over the first two rounds.  The group will begin play off the first tee at 1:07 p.m. on Thursday.  They will begin their second round at 7:22 a.m. off number-10.

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