DALY CITY, Calif. (June 15, 2012) -- It was unbelievable while it lasted. Eleven holes into his Friday round, at around 3pm, Beau Hossler birdied the tough 1st hole (his 11th) to get sole possession of the U.S. Open lead at 2-under-par.
There was the amateur, above Furyk, and Tiger, and even his orange clad Southern California native Fowler. (Who, by the way, scored four higher than Hossler on the 1st, a triple bogey 7).
Although the Rancho Santa Margarita Catholic H.S. golfer hit a speed bump, particulary with a double bogey on No. 4, the wheels didnt fall off completely. And the second time US Open player did a pretty good job of driving in on a bent rim, considering the pressure and the venue.
Speaking to the USGA after the round, Hossler said:
"I felt I was getting into a little bit of a zone. Unfortunately I kind of lost it coming in. I was able to salvage one on 7 with that chip in, but it was pretty solid overall. Just really glad to get it to 2‑under through 10 holes."
The next task will be playing well over the weekend, and Hossler is aware that the course might get tougher:
"There's some things I've really got to tighten up for the next couple days because I know the course is going to get harder. I feel like I'm in a good spot for me to reach my goal of low amateur. Then again I want to make sure I'm playing the best that I can and with the whole field and everything as well."
No 9: Drives into left rough off tee, nice iron shot, wisely bounces it in to 15 feet under the hole. Just misses left, tap in par.
No 10: Fairway club left side of fairway. Cheers from the crowd as he leaves the tee. They like him. Carrying his high school team bag "SMCHS" he is typical teenage awkward with a big braces-flashing grin for his supporters. Nothing awkward about his swing. Nips his approach to the front pin to 20 feet. Big cheers. If he keeps playing like this his Friday gallery will be huge. Misses by three feet and makes par.
Can't tell if he's got the putter in his belly but it's longer than most with an extended grip. He holds it near the butt.
No 11: Pulled tee shot finds the left rough, as on the 9th he's able to muscle it out, back right fringe with a challenging two putt.
No 12: Facing the toughest tee shot of the day, through two huge stands of pines on either side, Hossler splits the middle. His short iron approach is perfectly played to the middle of the green. His iron play is beautiful and he's got U..S Open patience. 2 putt par.
No 13: On the par 3 everyone's talking about, a crisp tee shot 20 feet past the front pin. First putt too soft leaving a tester. Firm putt lips in.
No 14: Drills a three wood - his sawed off finish is Tiger-like. Finds light rough right side. Approach barely clears right bunker (a guy in the gallery says "are you kidding me, he takes it over the right bunker?" and his ball has bounced long off the bunker.
Pitch to 6 feet- he makes the putt to save par.
No 15: Nice tee shot to 10 feet on the shortish par 3. Birdie just misses. Tap in par.
No 16: Tee is up today (if you call 609 yards up) Beau has bombed a drive and wisely placed a long iron into the middle. No sense risking going into the rough. 130 left. Another perfect iron hits near pin, spins back to 20 feet. Takes an aggressive speed but misses left. 3 footer to go. Another putt bounces around the hole and falls.
No. 17: Drives left center on the reachable par 5. He can keep it out there with Scott Langley, who is pretty long. Fairway wood finds right greenside bunker. Beautiful shot bounces near hole drawing huge "oohs" from the gallery. Putt is holed! He's chasing Tiger. Make that - he's tied for the lead...
No 18: Textbook long iron to this iconic ribbon cut fairway. Now he gets a chance to light up the fairly light crowd in the amphitheater setting. Wedges safely on. Tricky 20 foot right-to- left downhill putt hangs above the hole and goes two feet past.
Great first ten holes; 1-under. Now it's on to "Suicide six" - the opening holes on the front where the average score is about 3-over.
No. 1: Birdie on the 1st to get to 2-under and take the solo lead well into Friday afternoon.
No. 2: It started with his first bogey of the day on No. 2 (left greenside bunker, missed putt).
No 3: Hits green with 6-iron, two putt par.
No. 4: Hooked his tee shot off the into a cluster of trees and unmown hay that the average player might take three swings to get out of. He punched short, missed short right and failed to get up and down. The double bogey brought him back to earth -- ater briefly topping the board he was now 1-over on they tournament.
No. 5: Things could have gotten really bad at this dogleg right par-4, where Hossler's tee shot caromed off of a tree in the right woods, into the bunker in the 4th fairway. (that's right of right)
With absolutely no shot, he threaded the branches, back to the (correct) fairway. The resulting bogey minimized the carnage. Now 2-over.
No 6: Drive into left rough, couldnylt get good enough contact to reach green. Pitched long and took bogey. 3-over.
No 7: Went for the green, wound up short. Pitched over back and made the birdie chip. 2-over.
No 8: Bogey to close after finding bunker off tee. 3-over and tied for 9th.