Spieth, 18, takes low-amateur title at U.S. Open
Sunday, June 17, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO -- The golf gods seem to be shining on Jordan Spieth nowadays.
An NCAA title with the University of Texas. Somehow managing to gut out 36 holes at a U.S. Open sectional qualifier despite considerable fatigue. And then a surprise spot in the U.S. Open due to a Monday withdrawal.
To cap it all off - after making the cut on the number - Spieth managed to play the weekend rounds at Olympic Club at 1 under to finish T-21 and garner low-amateur status with a 7-over total, clearing future Texas teammate Beau Hossler by two shots.
"It all happened so fast. I almost withdrew from that qualifier," said Spieth, an 18-year-old sophomore with the Longhorns. "Some things just go your way. I grabbed the breaks (this week)."
Spieth joined the large gallery at the back of the 18th hole as Hossler made his way up the 18th fairway, with the lumbering 17-year-old stuck in the rough tied with Spieth at 7 over.
Hossler chose to go after the honor and challenged the tough front pin position, but sprayed it out to the right and into the bunker. With a tough stance in the bunker, Hossler failed to get his first shot out and then knocked it to about five feet with his fourth swing, handing Spieth the honor.
"(Winning low amateur) meant so much to Beau," said Spieth. "When he looks back (on this week), he will get chills. I just wanted to show my appreciation.
"(Beau) was leading the U.S. Open (on Friday). A 17-year-old amateur. That is out of this world."
Hossler, a 2013 commit for Texas, had bogey on three of the five holes leading into his double-bogey at the par-4 18th. He finished with a 6-over 76 on Sunday.
He says he could feel the momentum slipping away.
"Oh, yeah, for sure. Any time you go consecutive bogeys for me at least I feel like it's kind of starting to slip a lit a little bit and you have to right the ship," said Hossler, who will play in the California State Amateur this coming week.
"And I couldn't do that today. I want to say I had maybe two or three birdies out there, but I just couldn't really stop the bleeding the whole round."
Spieth birdied Nos. 7-9 to turn his round around (he was 2 over thru the tough first six holes), and says his weekend play proved what he could do on a big stage.
"I had only played the (Olympic Club) once before this week," said Spieth. "If I had a chance to play it before this, maybe I shoot better in the (opening rounds) and I am in contention on Sunday.
"In the (PGA) Tour events I played two or three times, I was in contention. But it wasn't in a major and at one of the places in the world. It is pretty exciting."
Spieth will take a crack at Q-School in the fall as an amateur - he is exempt into the second round due to making the cut at the U.S. Open - and plans to go back to Austin in the fall to help Texas defend its national title.
"I am going to go back and help Coach Fields try to make another run."
And with the likes of Spieth and Hossler, the titles might just keep on coming for the Longhorns.
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