Thursday, June 16

2011 U.S. Open: A 16-Year-Old Player and Other Notes

Editor’s note: I’m springing out of my armchair to spend the week at Congressional Country Club covering the 2011 U.S. Open. Share your U.S. Open thoughts: Comment below or email me at armchairgolfer@gmail.com.

SOMETIMES BOYS PLAY LIKE MEN. That’s the case for Beau Hossler Jr., a 16-year-old rising junior in high school who is the youngest player in this year’s 156-man U.S. Open field. I saw Hossler on the practice putting green on Wednesday afternoon and did a double take. I couldn’t figure out why a kid was rolling putts on the green.

It turns out the kid from Rancho Santa Margarita, California, is quite a player. Hossler finished third in his Sectional Qualifier and got his driver’s license during the same week. Not a bad week at all for a teenager. Now he’s teeing it up on the national stage with the world’s best players.

“It’s an awesome layout and conditions are obviously very difficult,” Hossler said the other day. “But I feel like I can play this golf course.”

Hossler said the players have treated him well. A personal favorite is Phil Mickelson. The teen begins his U.S. Open adventure at 2:52 p.m. alongside Chris Wilson and David May.

Notes

The longest U.S. Open courses are:
2008: Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Course) 7,643 yards
2011: Congressional Country Club (Blue Course) 7,574 yards
2009: Bethpage State Park (Black Course) 7,426 yards
2006: Winged Foot Golf Club (West Course) 7,264 yards
(Source: USA Today via USOpen.com)

Morning green speeds averaged 13.5 on the USGA Stimpmeter, but they’re expected to slow down to the high 12’s in the middle of the day.

The 2011 U.S. Open is sold out. “The USGA is proud to reach this milestone at Congressional, in our nation’s capital,” USGA Executive Director Mike Davis said.

The sun is trying to break through. Today’s high is expected to be in the mid 70s. Thunderstorms are possible.

−The Armchair Golfer

Related:
2011 U.S. Open: ‘Big Blue’ Ready to Challenge Field of 156
2011 U.S. Open: Play the Groupings Name Game
2011 U.S. Open TV Schedule and Tournament Notes
Donald Would Swap No. 1 for Mickelson’s Record

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