Courtesy of Beth Murrison, USGA
Bremerton, Wash. – It certainly wasn’t the start stroke-play medalist Beau Hossler wanted in the first round of match play Wednesday at the 2011 U.S. Junior Amateur at the par-72, 7,111-yard Olympic Course at Gold Mountain GC.
Miller Capps, 17, of Denver, N.C., made a 20-foot birdie putt to win the first hole, and then the 16-year-old Hossler, of Mission, Viejo, Calif., found trouble on the next three – with back-to-back double bogeys on Nos. 2 and 3 and a bogey on the fourth hole. After four holes, Hossler found himself 4 down.
“I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ ” said Hossler. “It would be something else if he birdied every hole, but I was just handing him holes by hitting it out of play on a wide-open golf course, and you just can’t do that.”
But Hossler, who played in last month’s U.S. Open, wasn’t overly concerned.
“Once I was 4 down, I wasn’t afraid of losing more holes,” said Hossler. “I knew I was going to make birdies because I have been making birdies all week. I was just waiting for it and I kind of felt it click a little bit on that par-3 tee shot on 5.”
Hossler hit that tee shot to 12 feet and birdied the hole to cut the deficit to 3 down. He went on to make six more birdies en route to a 3-and-2 victory.
“I played all right but I didn’t play good enough,” said Capps, who had earned the last spot in match play via a playoff Tuesday. “It’s hard to stay up when they start making birdies like that.”
The U.S. Junior Amateur field continues with the second and third rounds of match play Thursday. The quarterfinal and semifinal matches will be played Friday and the 36-hole championship final will be played Saturday.
Beau Hossler tees off against fellow Californian Austin Smotherman at 7:30 Thursday morning in the Round of 32.