For a brief time during the second round on Friday, 17-year-old Beau Hossler led the U.S. Open.
The high schooler from Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca., is in contention to win the tournament after shooting par in his first and third rounds. The early success has changed his tournament objective from being the top scoring amateur to trying to win the whole thing, he told NBC Sports after his round on Saturday.
ESPN’s cameras followed Hossler most of the day on Friday, and he received plenty of attention from NBC Sports on Saturday. The Internet began buzzing on Friday after Hossler’s mother, Amy Balsz, was shown several times.
Balsz, who remarried several years ago, followers her son throughout his rounds. Last year she says she tried to blend in with the gallery at Congressional when Beau played two rounds before being cut, but this time she stood out.
She thinks her son enjoys the crowds.
“I think a crowd motivates him,” Balsz told The Columbus Dispatch last year. “I see a spark on his face when he gets in the lead in junior tournaments.”
Beau is an excellent student who maintains above a 4.00 GPA, and he didn’t even get into golf until he was around 7 or 8.
“I remember going out to the range back at home with my uncle when I was 5 or 6. I really wasn’t into golf at all,” he told NBC on Saturday.
Hossler began playing with some Snoopy clubs when he was 7 or 8. He was a good baseball player, but he gave it up when he was 10 to concentrate on golf.
“Until then he loved baseball, and was a good player. All he talked about was the Dodgers,” Beau Sr., a mortgage broker, told the Wall Street Journal last year. “I took up golf just so I could stay with him on the fairways.”
When Beau Jr. was nine and had already won junior tournaments, his father joined Mission Viejo Country Club. “I’d be happy with just a social membership myself, but Beau is out there practicing at least three or four hours a day. It’s all he thinks about, that and his school work,” said Beau Sr.
With all his new found fame, Hossler is sure to receive plenty of attention when he returns to school. But he says the fame won’t change him.
“It’ll be different, but I’ll be the same me.”
Pic via CJ ZeroGoogle+
Tagged with: Amy Balsz • Beau Hossler