Remember the other day when I called the Washington Nationals a bunch of “pimply-faced prodigies who by graduating from Harvard at age fifteen have already accomplished more than a middle-aged dipshit writing some blog which gets four readers a week ever will.”
Let me introduce you to Beau Hossler, who as a 17-old brace-faced little punk has by virtue of performance at the U.S. Open this past weekend pretty much topped anything anybody who either writes or reads this blog will ever do on the links.
Forget the fact that he didn’t end up as the low amateur, forget the double-bogey on the 18th hole on Sunday that cost him that opportunity. Sunday showed the kid is human, unlike the performance gave on Saturday. During the third round at Olympic, Hossler backed every one of his bogeys with a birdie, but in the final round, he posted back to back to back bogeys on holes 3, 4, and 5. He did post three birdies, but four more bogeys and the aforementioned double at 18 allowed future University of Texas Jordan Speith to pass for the honors as low amateur.
Like I said, forget the ending. Just look at what this kid accomplished. He finished at 9-over 289, which was good enough for a share of 29th place, which just so happened to be good enough to put him ahead of every single guy who has won a major tournament since the last time Tiger Woods won one. Speaking of Woods, look at the span on Friday when Hossler was the outright leader in this tournament; this also happened to be during the time everybody thought Tiger was “back” and was going to run away with the Wanamaker Trophy. He finished seven strokes better than his idol Phil Mickelson.
Consider all that, then consider this kid qualified for a golf tournament where participants get a courtesy car; one he isn’t even old enough to drive in California.
The spectacle on Saturday of watching this kid walk tall amongst the cypress trees of the Olympic Club was a sight to behold. Just by being there, Hossler became the first high schooler since Mason Rudolph to qualify for consecutive U.S. Opens, but he played at a level far above “just happy to be there.” His run during this tournament had fans yelling “Beau Knows Golf!” while pleading for autographs.
It gave me cause to look back to what I was doing at age 17. I won’t go into details, but it involved far more cutting classes and Old Milwaukee than it should have. It also gave me cause to look back at my career as a golfer, which never got anywhere near anybody yelling anything at me other than “Jesus, you’re never going to find it…just drop another one already.” However, I bet I’ve more 7-irons around a tree than Hossler has, which helps to explain why my days on the links are in my life’s rear-view mirror.
So, no matter how the U.S. Open ended, this is really a beginning for Hossler. While the rest of the golf world goes back to orbiting the shopworn Tiger Woods discussion, Hossler will go back to Santa Margarita High School to finish his senior year. Then it’s off to defending national golf champion Texas next year.
In the meantime, there’s the California State Amateur tournament, the Sahalee Players Amateur tournament, then the Junior Worlds, the Junior Amateur, and U.S. Amateur. Not to mention he plans to go through the PGA qualifying school as an amateur. If that weren’t enough, there’s his new goal of qualifying for three straight U.S. Opens.
In other words, while this may be the first time you’ve heard of this kid, it likely won’t be the last.
Beau, here’s to a long career of you making me feel old.