OC native Hossler primed for action
It happened a year later than planned, but a lifelong dream became a reality in January for former Orange County high school star Beau Hossler.
With dozens of family members and friends following every shot and cheering him on at Torrey Pines, Hossler made his PGA Tour debut as a professional during the Farmers Insurance Open in La Jolla, where he finished tied for 49th at 1-under par and earned his first tour paycheck of $16,536.
What made his debut more notable is that Hossler outplayed Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Jimmy Walker, Brooks Koepka and a guy named Tiger Woods, who made his return to the PGA Tour after a 17-month layoff. All of those big names missed the cut at Torrey Pines, while Hossler played on.
Playing the weekend in his first tour start was a noteworthy achievement, but Hossler, 21, was disappointed he didn’t play his best after carding a 5-under 67 on the North Course to tie him for third after the opening round. He shot 75-74-71 in the final three rounds, all on the more difficult South Course.
“It was not the finish I wanted,” Hossler said after signing his final-round scorecard and minutes before Jon Rahm, 22, finished birdie-eagle to win the Farmers for his first PGA Tour victory. “But making the cut and playing four rounds out here in my first (pro event) is only helping my experience. … Having the opportunity to compete is really special, especially close to home. It was a privilege to be here and play on a golf course that challenges you and exposes all of your weaknesses. I can certainly assess where I’m at and move forward. I’m hoping to get better each and every week.”
He almost made it back-to-back cuts the following at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, but two closing bogeys prior to the 54-hole cut meant he missed playing the weekend at Pebble Beach by one stroke.
Hossler, who grew up in Mission Viejo and played golf at Santa Margarita High, turned pro after his junior year at Texas. He had planned to play on the PGA Tour last summer but had to delay the start of his pro career after suffering a shoulder injury while competing against USC in the semifinals of the NCAA Golf Championship in June. He had surgery for a torn labrum the same week he beat out Rahm for the Fred Haskins Award as collegiate golf’s top player, requiring six weeks of rehab and practice to return to competition. Now Hossler says he is “100 percent healthy” and believes he has the “tournament preparation I need to go out and be successful this year” on the PGA Tour.
Since a young age Hossler has stepped up in competition to measure himself against the best, as he did in qualifying for three U.S. Opens as an amateur before the age of 20, a feat that only three others had accomplished, none named Tiger. Other early notable accomplishments include:
At 14 Hossler was the second-youngest qualifier in the 105-year history of the US Amateur.
At 16 he qualified for the 2011 U.S. Open and was the youngest player in the field at Congressional Country Club, as well as the third-youngest qualifier in the 111-year history of the event. A month later, he won the boys 15-17 title in the Junior World Championships at Torrey Pines, by two strokes over Bryson DeChambeau.