SAN FRANCISCO | Beau Hossler came to the U.S. Open an unknown teenager with a mouthful of braces and left town nothing short of a rock star.
Hossler was the darling of the Open at The Olympic Club, a 17-year-old high school junior who briefly led the Open on Friday and who remained on the leaderboard through all of the first three rounds.
Of all the cheers that thundered from Olympic, the ones for Hossler were among the loudest. He was tied for eighth at 213, 3-over par through 54 holes, and at 17 was probably too young to realize he shouldn’t be there. In fact, he was asked if he could possibly win the Open.
“Absolutely,” he said, without a trace of hesitancy. “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.”
He shot an even-par 70 in the first round and reached 2 under in the second round to take the lead on his own after a birdie at the first, his 11th hole of the day. A bogey dropped him into a
four-way tie for the lead with the likes of Tiger Woods, David Toms and Jim Furyk. But he went 5 over in a four-hole stretch and fell down the list with 73. An even-par 70 in the third round surprised just about everyone.
“I just felt pretty comfortable out there (on Friday),” said Hossler, from Mission Viejo, Calif., who already has committed to the University of Texas. “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.”
But unlike most fairy tales, this one didn’t have a happy ending. Hossler was beaten for low amateur by Jordan Spieth after Hossler shot 76 on Sunday, while Spieth shot 69-70 on the weekend to edge Hossler by two. Patrick Cantlay was the only other amateur to make the cut and finished at 11-over 291.
Amateurs who missed the cut were Alberto Sanchez, 72-77; Cameron Wilson, 77-77; Brooks Koepka, 77-77; Andy Zhang, 79-78; and Nick Sherwood, 78-80.