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U.S. Open qualifier Hossler is boys golfer of the year
For two days last summer, NBC and ESPN introduced the nation to Beau Hossler, a teenager barely old enough to drive who was playing in the toughest test of professional golf.
Just days after finishing his sophomore year at Santa Margarita, Hossler took a trip to Bethesda, Md., to tee off in the U.S. Open, and at 16, Hossler became one of the youngest golfers to ever compete in the major championship.
Still, he hit 11 of 14 fairways to finish the first round with a 5-over-par 76, which put him one shot ahead of PGA Tour veterans Camilo Villegas and Ben Crane.
In about a week at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, he'll have a chance to improve upon that. Hossler qualified for the U.S. Open once again Monday after tying for second in his sectional qualifier in Daly City.
He posted a 2-under 70 in the morning at Lake Merced Golf Club and a 5-under 67 in the afternoon at TPC Harding Park to finish with a 7-under 137.
One of the players Hossler tied on Monday was Alex Cejka, a PGA Tour veteran who has earned more than $7 million during his career.
"Beau is special, and we will be reading a lot about him later. You don't get those kinds of players often," Santa Margarita boys golf coach Chuck Morales said. "He goes low when it's needed."
Andrew Levitt, Hossler's teammate, said the Eagles feel they can count on Beau for a 2-, 3- or 4-under round in every match. That's no exaggeration. In his last 17 rounds, Hossler is a combined 54-under par, which has helped him become the No. 2 player in the nation in Golfweek's Sagarin rankings and the Register/OCVarsity.com boys golfer of the year.
Twice during the CIF postseason, Hossler has posted the lowest score in a tournament. He did it first at Sierra La Verne Country Club when he carded a 4-under-par 67 at the CIF-SS Western Team Regional and again a few days later when he fired a 6-under-par 65 at Rancho San Marcos Golf Course in Santa Barbara to help the Eagles win the Southern Section team championship.
Earlier in the season, Hossler helped the Eagles capture another team title. He finished with a 9-under 207 after 54 holes at The Golf Club at Terra Lago as Santa Margarita won the Champions Invitational in Indio for the second year in a row.
Hossler hasn't participated in the CIF's individual tournaments even though he earned a place in them after winning the Trinity League finals with a 10-under 132 at Yorba Linda Country Club.
Hossler entered a U.S. Open local qualifier at Oakmont Country Club on the same day a CIF-SS team regional was being held in Long Beach, and he tied for second after shooting a 3-under 68 and moved on to sectional qualifying.
"I feel like I am starting to manage my misses better," Hossler said. "Before, I used to get too aggressive. Now, I am just trying to make sure I can get the best score that I can."