After shooting 11 over and missing the cut in last year’s U.S. Open at Congressional, Beau Hossler, then 16, knew he still had accomplished something special.
He didn’t win. Heck, he didn’t even get to play the weekend. But for a high school sophomore who had recently received his driver’s license, experiencing one of golf’s toughest tests would prove valuable should he return to the U.S. Open.
Said Hossler: “A pretty good learning experience.”
Next week, he’ll get another crack at it.
“The first time around, it was a little bit of a shock for me because when I got out there, I didn’t know what to expect,” said Hossler, who qualified for his second U.S. Open, shooting 70-67 to tie for second in a sectional qualifier Monday in Daly City, Calif.
“Now I know how hectic it can be. I know how to prepare. My goals are different this time. I expect a lot more.”
Hossler has learned a lot since last June. The nerves that were with him at Congressional were almost nonexistent Monday in Daly City.
He shot the lowest second round of any of the golfers in the field, which included Stanford freshman Patrick Rodgers, and totaled 11 birdies to just four bogeys.
Pretty impressive considering everything Hossler has going on.
He finished fourth at the AJGA Thunderbird, which ended on Memorial Day, and Wednesday, he will try to lead his high school, Santa Margarita Catholic, to a state championship. Not to mention Hossler, a junior, doesn’t even get out of school until Friday.
“I’m pretty tired,” Hossler said. “I’ve been playing a lot of golf. I didn’t feel that great (Monday), but thankfully I pulled it together.”
Hossler said he has been struggling a bit with his swing lately. It might be safe to say he has figured things out.
“I hit it pretty solid,” said Hossler, a 2013 Texas commit who is Golfweek’s No. 2-ranked junior. “Nothing spectacular, but I’m keeping the ball in play and hitting greens.”
He’s looking forward to four stress-free rounds next week at The Olympic Club. Yes, four.
And the California native will have a healthy following in attendance.
“Last year, I still had a lot of family and friends come support me,” Hossler said. “This year, I’m sure there will be a lot more.”
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YUAN MORE TIME? NOT QUITE: The run of 15-year-old Carl Yuan came to an end Monday in Lecanto, Fla. Yuan, who won a playoff to advance to sectionals, shot 78-77 at Black Diamond Ranch’s Quarry Course to tie for 41st.
“I really didn’t feel any pressure out there at all. I am 15. I just learned from those that I played with today,” said Yuan, who head home to China for a mini-vacation until early August, when he will return to the U.S. to play two AJGA events. “I will use this experience to help my game.”
Also missing out in Lecanto was Golfweek’s top-ranked junior, Shun Yat Hak, who shot 77-75 to finish T-27. Hak signed a national letter-of-intent last month with Georgia Tech.
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LOOKING AHEAD: While Hossler will be preparing for the U.S. Open, other top juniors golfers, including Hak, Zachery Olsen and Grayson Murray, will play in the FootJoy Invitational on June 12-15 at Cardinal G&CC in Greensboro, N.C.
– Nick Masuda contributed to this report.