Remember Beau Hossler, the upstart 17-year-old would captured the imagination of young and old with his composure at the U.S. Open at Olympic a few weeks ago. Well he is back in the limelight again playing in the A T & T National at Congressional this week. On a course that has been set up to Open standards- narrow fairways, long rough, hard greens, and stimps in the upper quartile- his even par 71 on day one was good enough for a T-20 with some established names like Angel Cabrera, Jason Day, and J.B. Holmes.
His Bossness even outplayed the host, one Eldrick Woods, who struggled with his driving, short game, and putting before carding a very sloppy one over 72. Of course it was not operator error but the conditions according to Woods. On his Oh-fer in sand saves he said, “My 60 (degree wedge) is not designed for this type of sand…there’s so much sand in these bunkers”. Not sure what his explanation was for a flubbed chip that looked like the work of a Pro-Am partner. The 50% in fairways hit and mediocre putting were what really held him back.
Beau on the other hand was T-3 in the field in driving distance at 321 yards-granted the hot air and fast fairways were conducive to long carry and roll out. He hit 64 percent of the fairways and was 13th in the most important stat of all, strokes gained putting for the day.
Hossler played Congressional as a 16-year-old last year at the U.S. Open so he is not unfamiliar with this setup. He confirms that there is some retribution in this setup for last year’s scoring orgy. “These have got to be the fastest greens I’ve every putted on” he said, “I don’t know, maybe the same speed as Olympic but these have a lot more pitch to them, so get on the wrong side of the hole an you’ve got no chance”.
To everyone’s amazement Beau once again has a chance playing with the big boys this week on a very difficult track. He is drawing crowds, signing autographs, and piquing the imagination of golf junkies once again. I would not be surprised to see him for some extended coverage on TV come Sunday. He just seems to have a comfort level in the spotlight uncommon at such a young age.
Bea is a breath of fresh air in an atmosphere that seems laden with a plethora of the hot variety.