Santa Margarita Director of Boys Golf, Chuck Morales, has been on campus this week along with the rest of the school administrators conducting meetings.
On Thursday morning, he snapped a picture of the school marquee, which read “Good Luck Beau at the U.S. Open,” and sent it to his pupil Beau Hossler. He thought it would be a nice gesture to show Hossler that the school was behind him.
Morales returned to campus on Friday along with the administrators and “not a lot of work got done,” as Hossler became the story of the second round of the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.
Thru 11 holes on Friday, Hossler was atop the leaderboard at 2-under. One shot ahead of Jim Furyk. Two shots ahead of Alistair Presnell. And three shots ahead of Tiger Woods.
“He was the buzz at our school from the president of our school on down,” Morales said. “Everybody was glued to a TV.
“At that point when he went on (top of) the leaderboard by himself, you could have just shot us all and we would have went to heaven.”
The staff was tickled pink to see the 17-year-old Hossler, who just finished his junior year at Santa Margarita, become the story of the Open. Just nine days ago, he finished second at the state championships with a 3-under 67, one shot behind Del Oro’s Austin Smotherman. On Friday, he was leading the U.S. Open and representing his school for the world to see.
“He thought enough of his school to have his caddy with his school bag,” Morales said. “That was his school golf bag that he carted around all day today. We were oozing.”
Hossler dazzled the crowd with his short game on Friday. His tee shot landed in the bunker on the par-4 5th hole. He was able to escape with a shot through the trees.
That shot was an old hat to Morales.
“The announcers said ‘Oh, he’s gotten into the bunker,’ and it was almost like he was doomed but Beau’s actually very good out of the trap,” Morales said. “He played a very good shot. He landed it short, it ran and it went past the cup but he was on line. I’ve seen him hit 100 of those. He’s very comfortable with every part of his game.”
Hossler avoided disaster and escaped with a bogey after what he called an “awful” tee shot.
He finished the day 3-over for the tournament and is tied for ninth place overall.
Hossler, who’s committed to Texas, says his goal is to be the low amateur once the tournament is done. He’s currently five shots ahead of is future teammate at Texas, Jordan Spieth, and UCLA’s Patrick Cantlay.
Morales says, what Hossler has done so far in San Francisco is a continuation of how well he’s played over the last couple of months. After missing the cut last year at Congressional, Morales says Hossler was very confident heading into this year’s U.S. Open.
“He certainly played older than he truly is but I know him to do this, I’ve seen him,” Morales said. “These last two months, he’s played unbelievable.”