Brandon Wu missed his college graduation ceremony on Sunday — though he had a pretty good reason.
Wu, a 22-year-old amateur who helped lead Stanford to an NCAA title last month, qualified for a spot in the U.S. Open last week at Pebble Beach. After two solid first rounds, Wu made the cut and advanced to the weekend.
So, instead of joining his classmates at Stanford to earn his diploma on Sunday, Wu teed off with Dustin Johnson at Pebble Beach.
It worked out pretty well for him, too. Wu finished 1-over par on the week for a tie for 35th and was the second-best amateur to finish at the U.S. Open — behind 21-year-old Viktor Hovland, who fired a 67 on Sunday to finish in a tie for 12th.
Yet despite not being at Stanford to wrap up his collegiate career, Wu still received his diploma on Sunday. After submitting his scorecard, Wu walked back out near the iconic No. 18 green and met USGA president-elect Stu Francis.
Francis had Wu’s diploma in hand and, alongside Wu’s family, held a makeshift graduation ceremony overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
“This is a pretty cool experience, too,” Wu said, via Golf Digest. “I wish I could graduate with my classmates, but I think they’ll understand and be cheering for me.”
Wu will now turn his attention to qualifying for The Open Championship next month before resuming his amateur schedule. He’ll attempt to make the Walker Cup team, too — a competition among amateur golfers similar to the Ryder Cup — before turning professional later this year.
While it was an unconventional finish to his time at Stanford, Wu isn’t regretting anything.
“It’s been a crazy two or three weeks,” Wu said, via Golf Digest. “I didn’t really envision this, how to end my college career. I thought I would be taking exams and walking in graduation.
“It’s been surreal. It’s been an awesome few weeks.”
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