RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. (July 12, 2014) -- It's Beau Hossler's tournament to lose, as the defending champion takes a 4-stroke lead into the final round of the 115th SCGA Amateur Championship at Rancho Santa Fe GC. After a pretty easy day on the course Friday, which put the rising University of Texas sophomore at 8-under-par after 36 holes, Hossler struggled a bit Saturday, playing the first 15 holes of the day in 2-over-par. Like he's done so many times in the past, however, Hossler switched gears, collecting birdies on two of the final three holes of play to stretch his advantage to four strokes.
"Today was a pretty bad ball striking day but I was able to salvage it there at the end of the round," said Hossler. "I didn't know I'd have such a big lead so obviously everyone else also found it to be a little tough out there."
Four golfers found themselves two strokes behind Hossler to start the day, with recent Loyola Marymount University graduate Tyler Torano setting himself apart from the crowd early in the third round, getting to within one of the lead early into his back nine. A rough end to Torano's round pushed himself out of tomorrow's final pairings, however, as the Chula Vista resident played the final six holes in 3-over-par to find himself five strokes behind Hossler entering Sunday's round.
Jumping into solo possession of second place was 2004 Champion Tim Hogarth, who yesterday afternoon put together an impressive round of 67 to put himself back within contention. After a rough start Saturday, which included bogeys on three of the first four holes, Hogarth finished the day with a round of 2-over-par 74. He and Hossler will tee off at 9:39 a.m. Sunday morning with four strokes separating them.
While many of the leaders found the course at Rancho Santa Fe GC much trickier than Friday, a number of golfers took the opportunity to climb a few spots up the leaderboard. Pete Fernandez, Stewart Hagestad and Connor Campbell each shot rounds of 4-under-par 68 to pace the field, however Fernandez was the only one to creep into the Top 10.
Hossler will look to become the first player since Scott McGihon in 2005-2006 to win back-to-back SCGA Amateur Championship titles.
"Tonight I just want to try and keep myself busy, keep my mind off the game," said Hossler. "I'll probably get some work in with my coach since I didn't really hit it very well today but I want to get some rest and hopefully finish strong tomorrow."