U.S. Open 2012: Beau Hossler's Emergence Shows Impact of Golf's Youth Movement
Golf's youth movement conversation typically centers around young professionals.
On Friday at the 2012 U.S. Open, a high school amateur Beau Hossler stole headlines from all the pros.
Unfazed by Tiger Woods and other elite players near the top of the leaderboard, Hossler jumped out to a fantastic start before settling for a stellar round of 73, three-over par. He is very much in the hunt entering the weekend.
More prominent youngsters Ryo Ishikawa and Rickie Fowler played solid golf in Round 1 of the 2012 U.S. Open, but both faltered on day two.
Rory McIlroy, who is the start and end to most "young talent" conversations, finished outside the cut line at +10.
At age 17, Hossler has hardly any experience facing the world's best players, yet he was playing on the toughest course of his life.
With a cool demeanor that indicated little nervous energy, Hossler began at the ninth hole and played bogey-free golf for his first 10 holes.
He birdied the 17th after a beautiful up and down from the bunker in front of the green.
To say he learned something from his missed cut at last year's championship at Congressional would be quite the understatement.
Which young gun has the best chance to place in the Top 10?
The fact that he even qualified for the tournament a year ago is incredible enough. Hossler said, though, that he was more nervous for his driver's test than he was for the 2011 qualifier.
Most fascinating is that Hossler is the first high school golfer since Mason Rudolph in 1950 and '51 to qualify for the U.S. Open in back to back years.
Hossler putted with confidence and firmly rolled in short testers for par all day. After a 12-minute wait on the No. 1 tee, Hossler pounded a drive down the middle on the most difficult hole on the course.
He went on to birdie that hole, too.
In golf's sternest examination, the upstart Hossler passed most of the demanding tests with flying colors.
He hit a lot of quality shots while also displaying patience on the greens. Hossler didn't try to jam in birdie putts, understanding par was the name of the game.
The bigger picture most recently exemplified by Hossler's emergence is the ever-expanding reach of golf to younger children, especially in recent years.
The dominance of Woods made the game "cool," beginning with his tour-de-force performance at the 1997 Masters.
The players who have emerged and infused new excitement in the game during Woods's absence have created a chain reaction—arguably a revolution—in the game of golf.
It's become an arms race amongst the young players in the game today. It is nearly as ridiculous as the rapid proliferation of golf technology that makes players hit it silly-long and straight.
A young champion comes along and inspires another even younger talent to work harder and rise to prominence sooner.
Success stories from young guns have popped up everywhere since Tiger's landmark major: Sergio Garcia's 1999 PGA Championship at Valhalla. Ishikawa's renowned 58. Matteo Manassero's tie for 14th at the 2009 British Open.
More visibly and recently: Rory McIlroy's blowout win at Congressional in 2011. Fowler bursting onto the scene at Torrey Pines in 2008.
UCLA's Patrick Cantlay at 20 years old won low amateur honors at last year's U.S. Open and the 2012 Masters.
The list goes on. This week: Andy Zhang is the youngest player ever in the U.S. Open field at age 14.
Hossler—much older at age 17—led the 2012 U.S. Open on Friday.
Although he faltered a little bit as the round wore on, Hossler's birdie chip-in on No. 7 salvaged a mostly spectacular round that looked to be slipping away.
As ESPN's Chris Berman sarcastically stated after Hossler buried his putt at No. 1...
"Just like everyone predicted!"
Perhaps in the context of today's game, we should expect this trend to continue.
Forget the Callaway Junior World Championships, which Hossler won in 2011.
He might not become the youngest U.S. Open champion ever, but Hossler certainly isn't playing to lose.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?