Golfers Ready to Compete for Spot in U.S. Open

Two local teenagers are a step away from getting into one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world.

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Jaden Soong practicing at DeBell Driving Range. (Photo courtesy Chris Soong).

Burbank has a chance to be put on the map of the sports world Monday as 13-year-old golfer Jaden Soong will be attempting to become the youngest ever to qualify for the U.S. Open.  If that isn’t amazing enough, Burroughs High senior-to-be Adriel Abaoag is also in the field hoping to make the cut.

The U.S. Open is returning to Los Angeles for the first time since 1948 and will be played June 15-18 at Los Angeles Country Club.
Ninety players will be competing Monday at the Hillcrest Country Club for roughly 10 spots in the main field.
“I feel pretty confident. I’m just going to have fun out there,” said Soong, who attends Thomas Starr King Middle School in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles.

Soong said this will be the first time he has played 36 holes in a single day in a tournament setting.

His tee times for the qualifier at Hillcrest Country Club are 8:55 a.m. and 2:40 p.m.
“It is about a 45-minute break.  I’m going to be hydrating myself and making sure I eat a lot of stuff,” Jaden said.

Adriel Abaoag (Photo By: Edward Tovmassian)

Soong knows he won’t see too many familiar faces in the field.

“I know all of them are adults,” Soong said. ” I have one friend in the field.”

That friend is Abaoag, the 16-year-old Burroughs senior-to-be who recently committed to play golf at UC San Diego.

He will tee off at 8:35 a.m for the first 18 holes and 2:20 for the second round.

“Not having the stress of finals or any AP test is definitely very helpful because I don’t have to juggle multiple nerve-wrecking things at once,” Abaoag said.  “I’ve been able to keep my cool and focus on the tournament coming up. I’ve done a couple of prep rounds at the course. I think it is going to be more of a mental game than dragging out a skill.”