Amateur Hossler Could Make U.S. Open History

The Santa Margarita Catholic junior is only four strokes off the lead with one round to play; he has a chance to become first amateur winner at the Open since 1933.

Beau Hossler's week at the 112th United States Open Championship has been spent in the top 10.

Before the tournament began, he was talking about being the low amateur and beating college stalwarts Patrick Cantlay and Jordan Spieth.

Forget those guys. Hossler has a new goal after three rounds at The Olympic  Club.

Win it.

With one round remaining on what is billed as golf's toughest test, Hossler fired an even-par 70 and remained four strokes behind the leader Saturday, just as he had during rounds Thursday and Friday. He goes into the final round with a 213, his 73 on Friday the only thing keeping him from being even par.

"I still have the goal to be low amateur," Hossler said, "but my new goal now is to win the tournament."

Hossler, a Mission Viejo resident who is a week removed from his junior year at Santa Margarita Catholic High, is tied for eighth place with six other golfers.

Hossler made four bogeys on Saturday, but answered each with a birdie on the next hole. He could have finished even better but missed a three-foot putt for birdie on the par-5 17th; if he drops it, he's in fourth place just two strokes back.

He said afterward that if all goes well, he has a chance to become the first amateur winner of the U.S. Open since Johnny Goodman in 1933.

"Absolutely, there's not a doubt in my mind," said Hossler, who leads second-round co-leader Tiger Woods by a stroke. "Got to go out there and do everything right mentally and physically, but it's definitely out there for me."

As it is, Hossler is the first amateur to be in the top 10 through 54 holes since 1998, when collegian Matt Kuchar was tied for 10th place, coincidentally at The Olympic Club; he finished tied for 14th.

The lead is shared by Graeme McDowell and Jim Furyk at 1-under par 209 through three rounds on the par-70 layout. If Hossler hopes to win, he will need some help from the leaders, though they haven't given any indication that they're ready to fold. On the difficult course, McDowell (69-72-68) has two rounds below par, and Furyk (70-69-70) hasn't gone over par yet.

But among the 13 golfers at 213 or better, only three have matched or exceeded Hossler's two par rounds.

Third-place Fredrik Jacobson is 1-over 211, and tied for fourth are Lee Westwood, Ernie Els, Blake Adams and Nicolas Colsaerts.

This is the second consecutive U.S. Open that Hossler has qualified for, and it's going much better than last year when he shot 77-76 and at Congressional Country Club in Washington D.C.

Hossler is one of three amateurs still in the field, and right now he's the class of the group that includes Cantlay, formerly of Servite High and currently at UCLA, and collegian Jordan Speith of Texas, who played a role in Hossler wanting to go there for college.

Spieth shot a 1-under 69 and is eight strokes off the lead at 217; Cantlay shot 1-over and is at 219.

They are well behind Hossler, who will take the biggest stage of his life Sunday, 2:20 p.m., when he tees off alongside 35-year-old Jason Dufner. The tournament is shown on NBC.

Whether it shows history or not is up to Hossler.


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