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High-school teen takes US Open by storm
Allan Kelly
13:24 AEST Sat Jun 16 2012

High-school amateur takes lead in US Open with Tiger Woods trailing in his wake may be the stuff of dreams for most youngsters, but for 17-year-old Beau Hossler it became a reality on Friday.

The chubby Californian with braces on his teeth stunned the galleries at The Olympic Club when he birdied the 1st hole - the 11th of his round - and suddenly he was ahead of the field, including the biggest name in world sport.

It didn't last that long as a bogey at the second and a double bogey two holes later drew him back to the chasing pack.

Still by the end of the day he came in with a 73 to go with his opening 70 and he comfortably made the cut for two more rounds at the weekend.

Hossler admitted that finding himself leading the US Open had been an experience.

"I was pretty excited about it, but then again I had another 40 holes at least to be playing in the tournament," he said.

"You've got a long way to go and you can't get too wrapped up on where you're at.

"You've got to keep focused and try to go out there and salvage some pars on the first six holes, which is pretty difficult to do."

Asked what he would have said if someone had told him as a golf fan that a 17-year-old kid would be leading the US Open, Hossler replied: "I would probably tell them they're nuts."

Hossler though is no ordinary 17-year-old golfer.

He has been something of a golfing prodigy for years down in his San Diego home and was the world junior champion in 2011.

He also qualified for last year's US Open at Congressional and at 16 was the youngest player in the field, eventually missing the cut.

He was set to be the youngest player again this year until 14-year-old Andy Zhang of China got a late call-up on Monday.

This time he has made it through to the weekend and he is determined to make the most of it.

"There's some things I've really got to tighten up for the next couple days because I know the course is going to get harder," he said.

"I feel like I'm in a good spot for me to reach my goal of low amateur. Then again I want to make sure I'm playing the best that I can and with the whole field and everything as well."

Asked what he had found to be particularly attractive and gratifying about competing in the US Open this week Hossler replied: "I find this kind of weird, but the free dry cleaning, that's pretty sweet."

Whatever happens at the weekend Hossler said he is fixed on what he will be doing over the next few years - studying and playing golf at the University of Texas.


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