By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
BETHESDA, Md. -- Beau Hossler has no plans to turn pro anytime soon. The 17-year-old is headed to the University of Texas next year and says he’ll plans to be there all four years.
His game, on the other hand, continues to show pro potential.
Hossler shot an even-par 71 Thursday at the AT&T National, where scoring was extremely difficult in firm, fast conditions and with temperatures into the high 90s.
The teen is also settling into the spotlight since his near-historic run at the U.S. Open two weeks ago.
”It's a little more low-key obviously because there's less people, not people flying from around the country and world to see the tournament, less grandstands,” Hossler said of the surroundings at the AT&T National.
Congressional is sure playing like a major, though.
“Equally difficult, I think, or pretty close,” Hossler said.
Hossler still had four birdies on the day -- though they were offset by four bogeys, including one on his final hole of the day, the par-5 ninth, where he three-putted.
Despite the hiccup, Hossler feels he contend here. So far, he’s been able to.
”I feel like I belong,” Hossler said. “Obviously my game needs to get better before I'm out here all the time, but I feel pretty comfortable out here. It feels like I can make the adjustment from junior to amateur to professional golf. I feel like I've made some progress.”
Prior to the 2012 AT&T National, Beau Hossler meets with the media and talks about the course and gaining experience and confidence.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
BETHESDA, Md. -- Not everyone recognizes Beau Hossler, even if he nearly won the U.S. Open and was the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter during his near-historic run.
“I was buying socks at Macy's the other day and some person didn't believe that it was me, so I had to show them my ID,” Hossler said. “It's pretty cool, though, because a lot of people know who I am now, being stopped in airports and everything, taking pictures. You wouldn't really expect the guy at Jack in the Box to recognize me, but they kind of do now.”
Being recognized might not get Hossler any free hamburgers -- “I wish,” he said -- but it was enough to get him into the AT&T National on a sponsor invite.
Though Hossler has yet to meet Tiger Woods, whose foundation runs the tournament, he was certainly thankful for being here.
Now he wants to win.
“I respect the games of every player out here,” Hossler said. “But I feel like I can go out there and compete.”
He did at the U.S. Open, where the 17-year-old led at one point midway through the second round before finishing in a tie for 29th.
”Probably the confidence,” Hossler said when asked what was the biggest thing he took from the U.S. Open. “I know I'm not quite to their level yet, but I feel like I can potentially be there in the future if I keep working hard. To know I'm able to be out there at least and to compete, that's a huge confidence booster for me.”
SAN FRANCISCO -- Beau Hossler’s bid for low amateur honors ended at the 18th hole on Sunday.
The precocious 17-year-old, who started the final round in a tie for eighth, needed to get to get up and down from the greenside bunker to beat Jordan Spieth, who is a rising sophomore at Texas.
Instead, Hossler, who will be a senior in high school next year, left the ball in the bunker and went on to make a double bogey. After posting a 69 on Saturday, Spieth shot 70 in the final round and finished at 7 over while Hossler was two strokes behind after Sunday’s 76.
The two are good friends and future college teammates. Hossler, who was wearing a visor that said Texas this week, plans to play for the Longhorns, who just won the NCAA golf title.
“He’s been a good friend of mine in junior golf the last couple years, and I think that I would like to say that I helped him, convince him to come to Texas, along with obviously our coaches,” Spieth said. “He gave me a lot of calls, along with a couple other guys on the team to find out some stuff about the university.
:So I've been close to Beau and we're aware of how good a player he is and what he's capable of doing, and he's just walking with a little extra cockiness in his step out here. He just looks really confident on the course and he's handling himself well off the course too.
“So it's just been an all‑around great effort by him and cool to see him sporting the Longhorn gear out there.”
Hossler couldn’t be too disappointed. Not only did he play extremely well, the crowd embraced him, giving him a standing ovation at the 18th hole.
“There's so much, so many positives for the week,” Hossler said. “I played well out of 70 holes, 72 holes I probably played well 60 of them. Made some crucial mistakes, missed some on the wrong side of the holes. But just like from last year, it's only a learning experience and I still have some time before I come out and start doing this for a living.”
SAN FRANCISCO – Tiger Woods certainly hasn’t gotten off to the start he had hoped for with back-to-back bogeys and a double bogey on his first three holes.
The double bogey was Woods’ first of the week. He’s now 4 over for the day and 8 over for the tournament. which puts him seven strokes behind the leaders, Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell, who tee off at 6:05 p.m. ET.
Another of the pre-tournament favorites, Phil Mickelson, is struggling on Sunday, too. He’s made 7 birdies in his first 13 holes and is now 15 over for the tournament.
At the same time, though, Beau Hossler, the 17-year-old amateur, continues his remarkable run. After finding the deep rough off the first tee, he drained a long par putt to remain at 3 over for the tournament.
The low round posted so far Sunday is Davis Love’s 69.
SAN FRANCISCO -- At the start of this week's U.S. Open, 17-year-old Beau Hossler just wanted to be low amateur. That remained his goal through his first 36 holes.
"I still have the goal to be low amateur," said Hossler, who will soon enter his senior year of high school, "but my goal now is to win the tournament."
Asked if he thinks he can win on Sunday, Hossler replied: "Absolutely. There's not a doubt in my mind. Got to go out there and do everything right mentally and physically, but it's definitely out there for me."
Hossler continues to defy the odds that suggest a teenage amateur can't hold up under the intense pressure and rugged scoring conditions of a U.S. Open. Hossler shot an even-par 70 on Saturday that keeps him at 3 over for the tournament and tied for eighth going into the final round.
He arrived at the 18th green to a standing ovation. The Californian can expect even more cheers should he stay in contention on Sunday.
"It's amazing," Hossler said. "I can't tell you how much I appreciate the support from everybody out there. Not only my family and friends from home, but all the people in the Bay Area. It's really special."
On Saturday, the biggest key to Hossler's round was his bounce-back ability. He immediately followed every bogey with a birdie. He also holed a few lengthy par putts to keep his round from unraveling.
"That's something I try to do," Hossler said about bouncing back from bogeys. "Not always successful with it, but the key out there is definitely staying away from the bogey train, because that can kill you."
Although the pressure will be cranked up even higher Sunday, amateurs have a habit of playing well here. Matt Kuchar finished tied for 10th at the 1998 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club but he was in college at the time.
Hossler won't get to college until the fall of 2013 when he starts at the University of Texas.
For now, he's concentrating on going into a major championship on Sunday with a chance to win. And if he gets to the back nine still in the hunt?
"Obviously I'm not experienced in there, so I can't really talk about what it's going to be like, but I know from other tournaments that I feel pretty comfortable coming down the back nine when I'm in contention," Hossler said. “So obviously it's a little bit different being the U.S. Open, but I put myself in contention in many tournaments and have come through successfully."
Amateur Beau Hossler chips in for birdie on the par-4 seventh.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
SAN FRANCISCO -- Beau Hossler came to The Olympic Club with the goal of earning low amateur honors.
For a few holes on Friday, though, the 17-year-old had fans conjuring up images of Francis Ouimet as Hossler grabbed a share of the lead at the U.S. Open and owned it by himself for one.
Hossler's birdie at No. 1, his second in a three-hole stretch, lifted him to the top of the leaderboard just like the amateur Ouimet finished there in 1913. Hossler stayed there, tied with the likes of Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods until he played his next five holes in 5 over.
Even so, Hossler fought back, chipping in for his third birdie of the day at the seventh hole. The high school senior will start the third round tied for ninth at 3 over and gets a 5:05 p.m. ET date with Raphael Jacquelin for his reward.
"I was pretty excited about (seeing my name at the top of the leaderboard), but then again I had another 40 holes at least to be playing in the tournament," Hossler said. "You got along way to go and you can't get too wrapped up on where you're at.”
Hossler, who opened with a round of even par and shot 73 on Friday, is one of three amateurs to make the cut. Jordan Spieth, who just completed his freshman year at Texas where Hossler plans to go to college, and Patrick Cantlay are tied for 59th.
"I just felt pretty comfortable out there," Hossler said. "Pretty nervous starting the round. Just like any other event I'm normally pretty nervous on the first tee, but once I got through the middle of the round I found out I had the lead. After hole one I felt pretty comfortable.
"I felt I was getting into a little bit of a zone. Unfortunately I kind of lost it coming in. I was able to salvage one on 7 with that chip in, but it was pretty solid overall. Just really glad to get it to 2 under through 10 holes."
Hossler, who carries a 4.0 grade point average at Rancho Santa Margarita High, admits that if someone had told him a 17-year-old would be leading the 112th U.S. Open "I would probably tell them they were nuts."
When he came to the Olympic Club to play in his second U.S. Open, Hossler thought earning low amateur honors was a possibility -- but after Friday's performance, it's now a very real goal. He missed the cut at Congressional a year ago but learned a lot from the experience.
"I really am glad with how I played the last couple days but I got a long way to go," Hossler said. "There's some things I really got to tighten up for the next couple days because I know the course is going to get harder. I feel like I'm in a good spot for me to reach my goal of low amateur. Then again I want to make sure I'm playing the best that I can and with the whole field and everything as well."
Hossler started playing golf when he was 8 and qualified for his first U.S. Amateur when he was in eighth grade. He recently lost the state high school championship by a single shot but is prospering on a much bigger stage at The Olympic Club this week.
"I feel like it suits really well to my game," Hossler said. "I feel like I drive the ball pretty well. It's a really difficult driving course. Few holes I think are, they're just tough. You're not going to find holes like this on any other course, not this I've experienced.
"But I think being able to shape it off the tee is huge for me, into the hills like everybody has been talking about how it slopes away from the doglegs, that's been huge. Trying to keep it below the hole on my approach shots, that's really been key to me."
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
SAN FRANCISCO -- So who is Beau Hossler? And just how in the world is the 17-year-old amateur leading the 112th U.S. Open midway through his second round?
As for the first question, Hossler is a junior with a 4.0 grade point average at Santa Margarita High School. He birdied two of his final three holes in the sectional event at nearby Daly City to earn his spot in his second straight U.S. Open.
According to the USGA player guide, Hossler is a big San Diego Chargers fan and enjoys "eating, chilling out with friends and is known for having nicknames for everyone." His godfather, Bill Schullenberg, is caddying for him this week.
His golf resume is impressive, as he qualified for the U.S. Amateur as an eighth grader and was a quarterfinalist at the U.S. Junior Amateur last year. He has three AJGA wins, including the this year’s Heather Farr Classic, in which he set a tournament record at 15 under.
Also, this isn’t his first U.S. Open. He played at Congressional last year, missing the cut after shooting rounds of 76-77.
As for the second part … well, he was a bogey-free 2 under through his first 11 holes in Friday’s second round and has shown steady nerves thus far. But now that he’s in the lead … well, it'll be interesting.