Hossler making 2nd U.S. Open start at 17

By Associated PressJune 14, 2012, 1:14 am

SAN FRANCISCO – At 17, Beau Hossler is almost old news at the U.S. Open.

That's what happens when a 14-year-old gets in the field at The Olympic Club and all Hossler has done is qualify two straight years as a high school amateur.

Even Hossler's dad said all the media attention on Andy Zhang this week was warranted.

''I understand the crowds around a 14-year-old getting in. That is incredible,'' Beau Hossler Sr. said Wednesday. ''He deserves that attention.''

While Zhang will be battling the nerves of a first-time competitor, Hossler is feeling right at home.

He and fellow amateur Alberto Sanchez took money off Phil Mickelson and Mark McCormick on Tuesday in a little old-vs.-young match-play competition.

And Wednesday, Hossler was playing a relaxed practice round with Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk and Zach Johnson – who have a combined 41 previous U.S. Opens under their belts.

''It's pretty cool,'' said Hossler, who birdied two of his final three holes at the nearby Daly City sectional to qualify this year. ''I feel like I'm a little more experienced this year. I feel comfortable out here.''

That has changed his goals – even if he shares the same braces-filled smile as Zhang.

''I want to be low amateur, and play the entire tournament,'' Hossler said about making the cut, which he failed to do last year in shooting rounds of 76-77 at Congressional.

That would mean faring better than Walker Cup players Patrick Cantlay and Jordan Spieth – the latter a big reason Hossler committed to play at Texas in 2013.

''I think (Olympic) suits my game better in that it's very difficult off the tee and plays hard and fast,'' Hossler said.

Of course, just a few years ago getting off the tee was hardly Hossler's strong suit.

''I'm going to say he was 5-3, 130 pounds, and that might be pushing it,'' his father said about his son competing as a 14-year-old in his first U.S. Amateur. ''It was impossible. He had to lay up at seven of the par 4s.''

The kid from Rancho Santa Margarita in Orange County finally shot up at age 16, which left him feeling less-than-coordinated at last year's U.S. Open.

Now he's steady at 6 feet and 190 pounds.

Swing coach Jim Flick, best known for working with Jack Nicklaus, estimated that Hossler's game is 10-15 percent stronger this year, and he's more of a complete player.

The kid high school teammates dubbed ''laser'' because of his pinpoint accuracy just doesn't always show it in practice.

Flick likened Hossler to NFL player Tim Tebow.

''Tebow seemed to practice poorly and play well when it really counted,'' Flick said. ''Beau seems to enjoy the challenge, and mentally seems to go through a transformation when it comes time to play.''

Flick, who spent two days earlier this week working with Hossler at Olympic, said being a late-bloomer and a short-hitter only helped Hossler hone his short game.

That practice round Tuesday with Mickelson, Hossler's idol, might have been even more important.

''Phil is like his guy and he's been his guy since Beau was 5 or 6 years old,'' his father said. ''He was engaging and needling the boys and couldn't have been any better. Considering he's one of the favorites to win this thing, for him to take the time to do that was something Beau will never forget. You could see when he walked off and Phil gave him a pat on the butt, he was like, 'Hey, this is neat.'

''I'm sure it helps his confidence a lot.''

It also will help having more than two dozen friends cheering him on from outside the ropes.

Jeff Higashi, a family friend for years, wasn't surprised Hossler survived local and sectional qualifying again to get into another U.S. Open.

''He's mentally so superior,'' said Higashi, who remembers seeing Hossler reading golf magazines when he was 10. ''He's not caught up in it all. He's not just here to play. He wants to succeed.''

Considering how hectic his life has been – he recently finished taking finals in Latin and other advanced placement courses to complete his junior year – Hossler was cool and collected on Olympic. Off No. 1 on Wednesday, he hit a perfect drive, sitting side by side with Furyk and Johnson in the fairway, then followed with a pin-high approach and two-putted for an easy par.

''He is a special player who we're going to be reading a lot about in the next three years,'' said Chuck Morales, Hossler's high school coach.

Hossler is planning to make it three U.S. Opens in a row next year.

But the University of Texas also awaits after he finishes his senior season early. Then, hopefully, a long pro career.

''I know I can compete,'' Hossler said. ''I've just got to believe in myself and keep working. It's not going to happen overnight.''

But it makes this experience that much more valuable.

As for being overshadowed by a 14-year-old, practice partner Furyk found it difficult to rate which was more impressive.

''They're both impressive feats,'' Furyk said. ''Now if both make the cut, it will be another story line.''

Rose (65) leads Rahm, Frittelli in Dubai

By Associated PressNovember 18, 2017, 3:24 pm

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Justin Rose shot a 7-under 65 Saturday to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the European Tour's season-ending Tour Championship.

The 37-year-old Rose made a gutsy par save on the final hole after a bogey-free round for an overall 15-under 201. The Englishman leads South African Dylan Frittelli, who produced the day's best score of 63, and Spain's Jon Rahm, who played in the same group as Rose and matched his 65.

Rose is chasing his second Race to Dubai title but leading rival Tommy Fleetwood is only two shots behind here after a second straight 65 on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Fleetwood did his chances no harm by overcoming a stuttering start before making eight birdies in his final 11 holes to also post a 65. The 26-year-old Englishman was tied for fourth place at 13 under, alongside South African Dean Burmester (65) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67), who closed with five birdies in a row.

U.S. Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Order of Merit crown, is tied for 13th on 10 under.

Fleetwood needs to equal or better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn't finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood will have done enough.

Rose is hoping to win a third straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey

If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

You don’t believe it, though.

She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

“In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.

CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

“I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

“She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

“She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

“Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

“It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

“No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

“I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”

RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

“He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”