PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Brandon Wu walked out of scoring Sunday at the U.S. Open and over to a spot behind the 18th green overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was there that Stu Francis, chair of the championship committee, handed Wu his Stanford diploma. Wu didn’t get to walk with his classmates at Stanford Stadium, but competing alongside Dustin Johnson on Sunday at Pebble Beach was pretty cool too.
“I’m happy I played today,” said Wu, smiling.
In the past month, Wu helped Stanford to a national title, qualified for the U.S. Open, represented the U.S. at the Palmer Cup and claimed a share of 35th in his U.S. Open debut.
After taking a few weeks off, the 22-year-old plans to attempt to qualify for the British Open then resume his amateur schedule with the goal of making the Walker Cup team. He plans to turn professional later this year.
“The crowds were yelling at me all day about graduation,” said Wu, “so it was pretty cool to get this kind of ceremony at the end here.”
Wu’s family was on hand for his “graduation,” as were several Cardinal golfers. Henry Shimp, Wu’s teammate and roommate, was in charge of finding Wu’s cap and gown buried in a pile of clothes for the makeshift ceremony.
“I guess Wu didn’t buy the sash that has the Stanford logo and all on it,” said Shimp, “which I feel is the nicest part.”
Wu went 3-0 in match play at the NCAA Championship at Blessings Golf Club in Arkansas back when school was still in session. He graduated with a degree in product design, noting that an electrical engineering class was among his most difficult.
“That was pretty brutal,” said Wu, “with circuits.”
Wu, 22, closed with a 74 to finish at 1-over 285 for the tournament, five shots behind Oklahoma State star Viktor Hovland, who took low-amateur honors by setting a new 72-hole record for amateurs at the U.S. Open. Four amateurs made the cut at Pebble Beach, including Duke’s Chandler Eaton (T-58) and 17-year-old Michael Thorbjornsen (79th), who will follow in Wu’s footsteps to Stanford in the fall of 2020.