SAN DIEGO, Calif. (July 14, 2013) -- The list of players that have won the Southern California Amateur and gone on to successful professional careers is pretty solid. You've got Tiger Woods front and center, and more recently John Merrick (who broke through with his first Tour victory at Riviera this year).
Beau Hossler of Mission Viejo can add his name to that exclusive champions list.
The University of Texas golfer [he attended school this year but won't play golf until the Fall] and rising star won the 114th SCGA Amateur Championship Sunday, beating out some of the best amateur golfers in Southern California at San Diego CC. Hossler put together rounds of 70-69-71-70 for a total of 8-under par, three strokes better than San Diego State golfer Xander Schauffele, who finishes as the event’s runner-up for the second straight year.
“I’m very excited,” said Hossler. “I played well all week, got off to a rough start as I’ve mentioned before, but since then made some great adjustments and fortunately was able to come out on top.”
Beginning the final day of play with a one-stroke advantage, Hossler’s lead quickly evaporated when Schauffele birdied the par 5, second hole. This left a window open for USC golfer Stewart Hagestad, who got off to a blazing hot start, to jump into sole possession of first place despite beginning the day four strokes behind. Hagestad recorded birdies on four of his first five holes, including the tough 236-yard par 3 third hole, when he dropped his tee shot just 18 inches from the hole. He would eventually finish T3, five strokes off the lead.
In the final pairing of the day, Hossler began to rebuild his lead with back-to-back birdies on the sixth and seventh holes. Playing in front of a gallery of about 100 who followed his group all day, Hossler played bogey-free golf the rest of the way, picking up two more birdies on the 12th and 16th holes to give himself some breathing room.
“I figured it was coming down to me and Xander battling it out, but I wasn’t really sure,” said Hossler. “I try not to pay too much attention until the final few holes, but when I extended the lead to two or three shots I started to get a little more conservative, because I figured there wouldn’t be a lot of birdies on 17 and 18.”
It’s been a whirlwind two years for Hossler, who became the first high-schooler since the 1950s to qualify for consecutive U.S. Opens, including last year at Pebble Beach when he briefly held the second-round lead. He graduated high school early last December, and already has a semester of college under his belt, though this fall will be the first time he will compete collegiately.
Finishing in a tie for third and five strokes off the pace was Loyola Marymount University golfer Tyler Torano, University of Notre Dame golfer Niall Platt, 46-year-old Brookside GC member Dan Sullivan and Hagestad. The top 10 finishers earn exemptions into next year’s event, which will take place July 11-13 at Rancho Santa Fe GC.