I was 17 years old once. That was a long time ago.
At 17, I was finishing up high school, had fallen in love for the first time and was consistently, yet fruitlessly, trying to get my dad to loan me the car. I was good at baseball, bad at basketball and had never picked up a golf club in my life.
That’s a far cry from what 17 year old Beau Hossler has been up to lately.
In case you missed the U.S. Open this weekend, the brace-faced, University of Texas-bound Hossler was on his way to becoming a household name. Prior to this weekend, nobody outside of Rancho Santa Margarita, California had ever heard of the kid. In fact, ESPN didn’t even have a picture on his player profile. Neither did PGATour.com, just the blank outline of a faceless avatar.
According to ESPN, the teenager nobody had ever heard of, ranked 312th on tour, with money earnings a paltry $0. That changed this weekend. So much for asking to borrow the car. Entering Saturday’s round, Hossler was tied for ninth. Same thing Sunday, after shooting another even par 70. That’s better than Phil, better than Bubba, better than most. At one point on Friday, he was tied with Tiger. Saturday, he was ahead of him. While others fell from contention, Hossler held a steady hand.
What were you doing at 17?
Watching this kid walk the course confidently, hammer the ball 270 yards down the middle of the fairway, seemingly unfazed by how his life was about to change, is another one of golf’s, and sports’, great stories and what makes the US Open such an enjoyable tournament to watch. Insert Tin Cup reference here.
When I was 17, I shuddered every time I went to the free throw line for my high school basketball team, with only a scant few in the crowd watching. This weekend, Hossler calmly played golf with the top pros in the world, Els, Woods, Furyk, Mickelson, holding his own with millions watching. It’s enough to piss you off if it weren’t such an incredible story.
Way more than 17 years later, I’m hitting the links on the regular, content to shoot bogey golf and celebrate the game’s ups and downs. Hossler’s doing the same, just with a lot fewer penalty strokes and a lot more people watching.
By the time the final putt had been sunk, another name you’ve never heard of, Webb Simpson, won the U.S. Open without a single golfer finishing under par. Hossler finished nine over, tied for twenty-ninth, two strokes behind Tiger, a respectable effort for a kid not yet old enough to vote. I get the feeling he’ll be just fine once he is.
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Let’s hope this kid doesn’t go the same way as Ty Tryon . Tryon was said to be the “next big thing” in the game and his #ss sank faster than the Titanic . Signed multi-million dollar endorsement deals and he’s not been heard from since , having not won anything of note and sinking without a trace .
KW II (Kellen Winslow Jr) simply proving that he’s not and never will be the equal of his father . He’s a classless mutha-###ker , as can be witnessed in his Youtube rant against Schiano . ‘nough said !
Good reference, Al.
And let’s not forget about Josh Hamilton, who was the biggest thing since sliced bread, then succumbed to all the pressure, then made it back and is now one of the best players in baseball.
Who knows what will become of Hossler but it was impressive to see him play so cool through most of the weekend.
Send me the link to the Winslow rant. I haven’t heard it.
What were you doing at 17?
I thought of a few comparisons between a young aero and the game of golf, but the truth is some of the analogies are a bit to disturbing for public consumption.
A few, well, quite a few years ago I was standing on the driving range of a beautiful golf course located west of the small town of Springville in the Sierra-Nevada foothills of central California. Just knocking a few balls before heading out for a late afternoon round of golf on the River Island Country Club course. The Portverville High School team called River Island their home course and the team was there practicing. Soon I had abandoned my efforts in favor of watching this sawed off little guy just out distancing everyone else, one shot after another. Straight as a laser he smoothly and confidently laced his shots beyond the 250 yard marker. Several other men simply stood back and enjoyed what the kid, a freshman probably 14 years old, had figured out to do… I didn’t keep up with him and he probably never went far for whatever reason since I’m sure I would’ve heard about it if he had.
I guess only a few people have that combination, the physical prowess to control their movement AND the mental ability to block out distractions and focus on the task at hand… It appears young Hossler may just have both abilities in one package…
The young Beau was impressive indeed with his play and commentary. His poise during interviews parralled his play on the course, (relatively). To be 17 years old and playing with the world’s elite in golf…for the second time. (He missed the cut last year), is something special. He is someone to watch out for, should he stay with the sport. Texas should feel very lucky…but he should be a GATOR!
Then you have the other side of the story that occurs over and over and ultimately plays a huge role in determining sports greatness.
On the same course mentioned earlier I had the opportunity to watch a young Jerry Heard (a Visalia California native) tee off on what was then the par 5 10th hole. This hole was an almost 90 degree dog leg left. You drove across the rushing Tule River to a broad landing zone then on your second shot had you turn to your left and with a fairway wood you’d hopefully hit a good shot and be left with a short iron to the green. Now the river (with the exception of the gap you drove off the tee through) was lined by tall oak and cottonwood trees that made a tee shot directly toward the green seemingly impossible. A large group of amatuers like me watched as Jerry straightened the dog leg, hitting a high driver shot that cleared the tops of the trees and landed just in front of the green… He chipped and one putted for an eagle!
Years later, Heard had won several PGA events and was playing in a tournament alongside Lee Trevino when a bolt of lightening struck near them. Both were thrown to the ground with Jerry suffering a back injury that, although he tried and tried, effectively ended his career on the PGA tour. At the time of the accident he was one of the top rated golfers on the tour…
Interestingly enough, since moving to the Spring Hill Florida area, I found Jerry Heard is the course pro on the Silverthorn championship course on the east side of town… And so it goes…
I watched a lot of Hossler’s round on Friday, and kept waiting for him to choke. He kinda did and had a double bogey, then bogey stretch, but kept on plugging away and didn’t let those holes effect him.
I was happy to see Simpson win, I picked him in my fantasy golf league and only one other guy had him on their roster of six!
Hamilton’s problems were self-induced .
Ty Tryon banked a $ million in endorsements and that’s been it ,
Every new kid who can swing a golf club gets lauded over before they’ve done anything and that’s the idiocy and naivete’ here shown by the fans and golf analysts alike . The worst of them all might be Johnny Miller . There’s not a sphincter he wouldn’t lick or kiss if it meant he could ingratiate himself with a fan or player. The only time he tends to be critical if he’s been unable to get a sound byte from a PGA Tour professional .
Your boy Clemens found “not guilty on all six counts faced in his trial . Yet again we have the US Justice Dept to thank for p#$$ing away millions on a worthless case . Meanwhile several scumbag white collar criminals on Wall St are laughing all the way to the bank .
Look as long as Hossler has no sexual peccadillos in his closet he will be fine . Whether or not he wins anything on the PGA Tour remains to be seen .
Winslow no fan of Schiano
Here’s a link to his Youtube rant … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4N6Ozizc_A
It’s roughly six minutes into the Seahawks’ Michael Robinson’s Youtube posting .
Great story. These young stars are developing quickly at such an early age. Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy and now Beau Hossler. It’s good for the sport without a doubt.
Those are the kind of stories we like.
Let me guess, like young Beau, you were also doing your best to ahem, put the ball in the hole.
Let’s hope so. Good story, man.
On the golfing front, I definitely can’t relate. I can feel comfortable giving a speech in front of 100 people, tend bar for a thousand bu,t ask me to sink a four-foot putt with millions watching, well forget about it.
In fact, ask me to sink a four-foot putt with NO one watching and forget about it.
Those misses don’t count, right?
How’s your handicap these days? Let’s just say you’d be mighty impressed with the way I wield my new driver… and mighty unimpressed with what’s happened to my short game.
As Roseanne Rosannadanna used to say, it’s always something.
I played Silverthorn not too long ago.
Interested in shooting a round, on me?
As long as you know there will be bourbon involved, weekdays for me, work best.
When Tiger starts off Sunday with a bogey, bogey, double bogey, anything is possible, no?
All things considered, Hossler was nails for that front six, which everyone said was near impossible to play.
Heck, Westwood melted down. Most everyone did. It took a hot Simpson to win the thing at one-over.
And for the record, I’m generally one over after one.
I’ll have an interesting point-counterpoint on the Clemens situation coming up soon, so stay tuned.
And as usual, I’m about 100 emails behind but I promise to catch up soon.
What I DON’T know is whether amateurs make any money for actually placing IN the money.
Do you have any idea? He and Spieth both finished quite respectably but their earnings show as $0.
That’s gotta suck, huh?
Great read SC. We missed all that but know we can always get the best sports info right here.
And BTW you are a champion in my eyes.
Not to mention ( shameless plug) #1 Sports Blogger of the Year !!!! 🙂
Deserved & proven every time I read another of yr posts. Nicely done.
A mother’s bias.
I’ve done my own piece on this Clemens …… I’ve conjoined it with Bonds and Lance Armstrong .
Look I’m thinking about heading down to the Caribbean get myself one of those cheap law degrees head up to DC and see if I can get a job with the Justice Dept that pays me in excess of $100k a year , What do you think ?
Working in risk management & intl corporate governance just doesn’t seem to be cutting it nowadays . Especially in light of the buffoons working with and as subordinates of Eric Holder (US Attorney General) . They’ve f$$ked (prosecuting attornys) up two high-profiled cases in succession and haven’t a thing to show for it all. Bonds awaits sentencing but it is highly unlikely he will do any jail time whatsoever , If anything it’ll be community service and with his being placed under house arrest .
Who’s On Base Are You …
A New York State of Mind
Bang The Drum Loudly …… The NBA Is … Better Than Ever ?
Tonight it’s make or break for the Thunder .
I wonder how many blogs were posted with this very same title…
I honesty didn’t expect Clemens, Bonds or anyone who stuck a needle in their ass or had it done for them… allegedly… to serve any jail time and to be honest with you, I’m perfectly okay that they didn’t.
I mean, they’re professional baseball players, not armed robbers, not murderers, not embezzlers.
In the end, they’ll get what they deserve, which is public ridicule, distrust and likely exclusion from the Hall of Fame.
Assuming of course, they’re guilty in the first place.
I counted one on Canoe.com (http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Golf/PGA/USOpen/2012/06/16/19886891.html), some Canadian golf site who should not be able to speak of any references to Bo Jackson.
I found another piece with the same title in the Toronto Sun (http://www.torontosun.com/2012/06/16/beau-knows-golf). Same deal applies. They got Flutie and Herschel and that’s all they’re getting.
And then another in the Global Golf Post (http://www.globalgolfpost.com/opinion/beau-knows-golf/) but they ranked below me on Google, so who cares?
Here’s my thing with this mess …. MLB obfuscated their responsibility in cleaning up this mess . Selig shows about as much intelligence as a member of Congress , So it makes him dealing with anything a complete joke to begin with , And now you have the idiots within the US Justice Dept simply f$$k up two high-profiled cases in succession . How the hell is that possible ?
Don’t look now but I hear a law degree isn’t a prerequisite to work for that agency under Eric Holder . Including the BALCO Investigation …. in excess of $27.5 million has been spent on these cases and no one has been sent to jail . These mu##a-$#@kers (US DA’s) couldn’t arraign and indict a ham sandwich .
Hot In Cleveland … Lukewarm In New England ….
Baseball did what it did during the steroid era because it was bringing fans back to the game, so it turned a blind eye to the drug use in the league.
And the fact that our legal or judicial system isn’t getting anything done in the aftermath shouldn’t surprise you one bit either, Al.
It’s the reason why corporate law is a great deal more interesting specifically with regard to risk managment .
Eric Holder is proving to be a complete a#s !
As for the Justice Dept ….. that’s an agency that is almost as incompetent as the damn Treasury Dept under Tim Geithner .
Where’s A Lawyer When You Need One ? Well , A Competent One At Least !
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