Teen amateur Hossler believes he can win US Open

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Hossler followed up a bogey at No. 3, with a birdie at No. 4. He did the same at Nos. 6 and 7, Nos. 11 and 12, and Nos. 13 and 14 before closing out his round with four straight pars.

There also was a clutch two-putt for par on the 188-yard eighth hole, and a par save on No. 9 after he hooked it into the trees.

“That was huge,” Hossler said. “But I think the biggest one was on 13 where I got up-and-down for bogey from down in the swale. Double-bogeys really kill you and fortunately I was able to salvage a bogey but it actually felt like a birdie there.”

It’s been quite a week for Hossler, who played a practice round with Furyk and another with fellow Southern Californian Mickelson.

In the latter, he claimed bragging rights, if not actual money, with a 1-up win during partner match play. Contrary to reports, his dad said it was a friendly match, and no money actually changed hands _ though there was plenty of joking about only playing for $20 a hole.

That would be peanuts compared to the $1.44 million Hossler, as an amateur, would miss out on if he were to actually win Sunday.

Hossler, at 17, isn’t even old enough to celebrate with an adult beverage, and the most adult thing he’s done recently was ask his mom if he could drink coffee to help him stay up to study for finals.

On the golf course, his poise belies his youth.

“I had a great day,” Hossler said. “I went out there and didn’t really have any expectations except to make sure that I’m getting the most out of my round.”

Thousands on TV saw what dozens of family members and friends following him around Olympic Club already knew.

The kid can play.

“It’s amazing,” Hossler said of the support. “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the support out there, not only from my family and friends from home, but all the people in the Bay Area. It’s really special.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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