SAN DIEGO, Calif. (July 12, 2013) -- Last year, Beau Hossler impressed the golfing world with his performance at the U.S. Open at San Francisco's Olympic Club, playing with the poise of someone twice his age.
A year later, and Hossler has enrolled early at Texas (though he won't play for the golf team until the Fall) and he is in position to win the SCGA Amateur at San Diego Country Club after rounds of 70-69 on Friday.
“I like where I am in the tournament so far, although we have a long ways to go,” said Hossler. “The course is really in great tournament condition, and I’m just happy to get out of the first day in such a good position.”
San Diego CC brought out the best in some of the area’s best golfers Friday, as the leader board is stacked with a number of other top names.
Last year’s runner-up and San Diego State golfer Xander Schauffele and highly-decorated SCGA tournament veteran Tim Hogarth are a stroke out of the lead as the event advances on to weekend action with 43 participants.
But the round of the day came of the clubs of rising University of Notre Dame golfer Niall Platt, who sits T1 with Hossler midway through the tournament. Platt shot an impressive 6-under par 66 to open the event, carding seven birdies and just one bogey.
“I wasn’t expecting a score like that,” said Platt of his 66. “I figured anything under par I’d be pleased with.”
Platt wasn’t able to take advantage of the three-stroke advantage he had after the first round of play, however, following it up with a 1-over par 73. He opened the door for Hossler, who recorded a first-round 70, to take a share of the lead.
One-stroke behind the leaders is Schauffele, whose college uses San Diego CC as a home course. He shot solid rounds of 2-under par 70 for a total of 4-under par. After finishing as the runner-up in last year’s event, Schauffele recently earned medalist honors at the California Amateur. A win at this year’s Amateur would surely ease the frustration of those near misses.
“I’m tired, it’s a long day,” said Schauffele with a smile after Round 2. “Playing out here with San Diego State, I definitely have advantage knowing these greens. I kind of call this place my home course now, so it would be really special to win it for the members and for my teammates.”
Finding himself able to match some of the best collegiate golfers shot for shot though was Hogarth, who is trying to win the SCGA Amateur for the second time. Hogarth, who won the event back in 2004 and has also secured a record five SCGA Mid-Amateur titles, often plays well during grueling, 36 hole days. Today was no different, as the veteran fired rounds of 69 and 71.
The San Diego CC course, which is known for its tough greens, proved to live up to its reputation. It took many competitors awhile to get adjusted to the greens, which lived up to their reputation.
“It took me about eight holes to figure out the greens,” said Hossler, who began his first round with four bogeys in his first seven holes, including four three-putts. “I was really able to turn things around though with an eagle on number eight, and am really happy with the way I played after that.”
Hossler played bogey-free golf the rest of the way, heading into Saturday’s third round with a streak of 29 consecutive holes without a bogey.Rounding out the top five is 2012 SCGA Public Links Champion Dan Sullivan, who sits two strokes off the lead at 3-under par.
Saturday’s action begins at 8 a.m., with tee times running through 9:30 a.m. All golfers will then play another 18 holes Sunday.