Story by Andy Zunz
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Beau Hossler introduced himself to the world at the age of 17, taking the lead during the second round of the 2012 U.S. Open with the word Texas on his visor in cursive script.
Two-and-a-half years later, Hossler donned a full Texas men's golf uniform at The Hayt, doing what seemed inevitable in 2012: coasting to his first collegiate win.
Hossler shot a final-round 2-under 70 at Sawgrass Country Club, winning his first collegiate tournament by five strokes and leading the Longhorns to the team win amid a field that included eight teams in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings' top 50. The title is Texas' second of the season.
"I'm excited for Beau, that first win is a big one," said Texas head coach John Fields. "But I think it's a motivator for all of our guys on the team. We just needed to break some ice.
"We have a lot of talented guys on our team who are exceptional and have the ability to win at any time. Hopefully that will give us some positive momentum going forward."
Hossler finished as the only player under par, moving to 4 under for the event after a final round that included three birdies and one bogey. After opening with a 4-over 76, Hossler shot rounds of 66 and 70 on the weekend, leading a field that played to a 76.75 scoring average at the windy course.
"Yesterday's round was exceptional," said Fields of the Longhorns' second-round 8-under 280. "To shoot under par on that golf course was outstanding. It was a heck of a challenge, so we don't take it lightly."
Hossler played the back nine in 5 over during Friday's first round, including three bogeys and a double, but went bogey-free on that same stretch in his next two rounds, playing the back nine in 7 under on Saturday and Sunday. Fields said that Hossler was able to gain momentum after seeing a few putts fall on the back.
Heading into the event, Hossler, a sophomore from Santa Margarita, Calif., led the Longhorns in scoring at 70.75, but had only one top-10 to his name in four tournaments. He was named the 2014 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.
Host North Florida, playing without senior M.J. Maguire, finished second at 12 over, four shots behind Texas. Dillon Woods and Taylor Hancock led the Ospreys, finishing in second and third at 1 over and 2 over, respectively.
Oklahoma State finished third at 19 over, UCLA placed fourth at 21 over and Alabama rounded out the top five at 29 over.