SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A standing ovation awaited 17-year-old Beau Hossler as he walked off the 18th green Sunday.
“I feel bad the way it ended with Beau, I really do,” said Spieth, who ended up as low amateur Sunday after Hossler finished with a double bogey. “It would have been nice for both of us to be standing out there with the week that he had. You’re going to see him not too far from now having plenty of success.”
While the Texas native scrambled to find his way into the U.S. Open then played virtually unnoticed all week, Hossler earned as much air time as Tiger Woods after briefly taking sole possession of the lead Friday then playing his way into contention after a solid back nine Saturday.
Fans cheered him when his name was announced on the No. 1 tee, and thousands chanted “Let’s Go Hoss-Ler” as he walked up to the amphitheater-like eighth green Sunday.
Hossler would take off his Imperial white visor, and tip it to the crowd while his caddie/godfather Bill Schellenberg flashed the Hook `em Horns sign.
“To hear them chanting my name, that’s pretty awesome,” Hossler said.
What wasn’t awesome Sunday was his swing.
Instead of playing to the “laser” nickname he earned from Santa Margarita Catholic High School teammates, Hossler had a toe-pull going.
“That’s really what cost me today,” he said. “This is a fader’s golf course. You’ve got to hit it into the slope and you have to have backspin so the ball doesn’t roll through the fairways. I didn’t do that.”
Still, there was magic in the air when he holed-out to save par on No. 1 and got up and down from a bunker on No. 2, sinking the par-saving putt to Tiger-like roars.
Unlike Saturday when he backed each bogey with a birdie, Hossler went bogey-bogey-bogey on Nos. 3, 4 and 5. He made three birdies in the round, but four more bogeys and the double on 18.
On the final hole, he knew he needed par to tie Spieth for low amateur. But he put his drive into the left rough, and his long iron found the right bunker.