Beau Hossler (Flash)
Score 143, 3‑over
Q. Talk about the experience and seeing your name up on the leaderboard out there today.
BEAU HOSSLER: First of all, I want to thank all my fans and family and friend for coming out and supporting me and everybody back home who I know is watching and paying attention to what's going on. I really want to thank them for their support. They have always supported me, and I just want to get that out of the way.
I just felt pretty comfortable out there. Pretty nervous starting the round. Just any ‑‑ just like any other event I'm normally pretty nervous on the first tee, but once I got through the middle of the round I found out I had the lead. After hole one I felt pretty comfortable.
I felt I was getting into a little bit of a zone. Unfortunately I kind of lost it coming in. I was able to salvage one on 7 with that chip in, but it was pretty solid overall. Just really glad to get it to 2‑under through 10 holes.
Q. You look at the leaderboard on No. 2, and what ran there you your mind when you realized you were leading the U.S. Open?
BEAU HOSSLER: I was pretty excited about it, but then again I had another 40 holes at least to be playing in the tournament. You got along way to go and you can't get too wrapped up on where you're at. You got to keep focused and try to go out there and salvage some pars on the first six holes, which is pretty difficult to do.
Q. You got a lot of confidence. But if somebody had told you as a golf fan that a 17 year old kid would be leading the U.S. Open, what would you think of that?
BEAU HOSSLER: I would probably tell them they're nuts.
Q. What does it mean to be in this position going into the weekend?
BEAU HOSSLER: I really am glad with how I played the last couple days but I got a long way to go. There's some things I really got to tighten up for the next couple days because I know the course is going to get harder. I feel like I'm in a good spot for me to reach my goal of low amateur. Then again I want to make sure I'm playing the best that I can and with the whole field and everything as well.
Q. Was that your goal?
BEAU HOSSLER: Right.
Q. Do you reset the goals at all after being so high?
BEAU HOSSLER: Yeah, when I came in I knew low amateur would be a great honor. Obviously, after first round it looked like it was a little bit more of a possibility; but, yeah, that's definitely my goal moving forward.
Q. Most kid your age are playing high school golf and that's about it, you're playing in front of 40,000 people. Can you put that into words what it's like to maybe pass it on to them what it's like with the experiences for you?
BEAU HOSSLER: It's a little bit different when you got a huge gallery out there, but I feel really comfortable I've had if a few times, no the quite this big, obviously but a few pretty big galleries out there at the U.S. Amateur and events like that. But it's a whole new game once you get on the professional stage for sure.
Q. You mentioned high school golf. You're still on the high school team aren't you?
BEAU HOSSLER: Yes.
Q. When was the last time you played with them?
BEAU HOSSLER: We had our state championship at the beginning of June, first week of June maybe.
Q. How did you do?
BEAU HOSSLER: I lost by one, unfortunately, I shot 68.
Q. Who beat you?
BEAU HOSSLER: Austin Smotherman.
Q. You had the opportunity to learn and be in this theater last year for the first time. How much coming in this year were you able to draw upon what you learned last year and put forward and use?
BEAU HOSSLER: That was huge. That's invaluable. There's no other way to experience that kind of pressure, those kind of course conditions, it's pretty hectic, obviously, around with a lot of people and fans. The first year I really think that's huge for him, especially, when he's 14, to get that out of the way, and hopefully come back the following years to capitalize on it.
I think I've done that pretty well. Last year I felt a little bit uncomfortable, just couldn't really get in a rhythm because it was so different than engine I had experienced. But now I feel a little bit more familiar with it.
Q. This is a much harder test because the way that Congressional played last year. And yet do you feel in way that you have more composure this year than last year?
BEAU HOSSLER: Without a doubt, yeah.
Q. Because of last year?
BEAU HOSSLER: Yeah, right. I feel like I learned so much, you can't substitute being actually being there.
Q. How comfortable did you feel after you made that birdie putt on 1 and realize that had were you actually leading?
BEAU HOSSLER: I couldn't really focus on that too much because of those next, really those next seven holes. They're all very difficult. Even the par‑4, 7. It's short, but can you make a big number. So I knew I had to look forward and pay attention to what was coming up.
Q. Does an experience like this make you think about reconsidering your college plans?
BEAU HOSSLER: Not at all. I'm going to Texas.
Q. 5‑over through a stretch of five holes thereafter you made that birdie at 1, was that just due to technical mistakes and just bad golf or was there any component of that that was you just saying, Oh, my God, this is the U.S. Open?
BEAU HOSSLER: Not at all. That's going to happen. You're going to have stretches, especially on those holes where you're struggling. Obviously, I think I got out of my rhythm a little bit on those tee shots, and those really killed me. But I don't think at all it was based on the stage, I think it was just based on making some bad swings and unfortunately at the wrong time.
Q. What's the strongest part of your game?
BEAU HOSSLER: I would say more my consistency more than had any particular aspect.
Q. What separates you from other 17 year olds playing golf, high school golf?
BEAU HOSSLER: I guess experience is probably huge. A lot of guys are out there practicing, are really good, have all the skills; but it's a matter of feeling comfortable when you're out there and being able to compete when it really counts.
Q. What suits you about this course because so many are finding it so brutally tough?
BEAU HOSSLER: I feel like it suits really well to my game. I feel like I drive the ball pretty well. It's a really difficult driving course. Few holes I think are, they're just tough. You're not going to find holes like this on any other course, not this I've experienced.
But I think being able to shape it off the tee is huge for me, into the hills like everybody has been talking about how it slopes away from the doglegs, that's been huge. Trying to keep it below the hole on my approach shots, that's really been key to me.
Q. What age did you start?
BEAU HOSSLER: I started when I was eight.
Q. When you were leading we were looking at other amateurs that were in that kind of position, Francis Ouimet, Johnny Goodman, do you know anything about those guys?
BEAU HOSSLER: Not at all. I never really paid attention.
Q. You hit basically two bad balls, I'm guessing, the tee shots at 4 and 5. I'm sure you didn't expect to be in a bunker on the 4th hole after teeing off on the 5th hole. But was that maybe the best shot you hit today?
BEAU HOSSLER: It was the riskiest. There's no doubt. My caddie was trying to get me to pitch it out there to like 250 in the fairway, but...
Q. You were looking toward us, toward the gallery down below to the left and then over the trees and decided to go with a high shot. Why that, and did you think you could compound your situation if you had hit another tree?
BEAU HOSSLER: Obviously I could have. I could have compounded that. I could have compounded it either way. I don't think a 70 yard pitch shot into the fairway from a bunker is that easy either. So I thought hitting a high hook 6‑iron would be a little bit easier actually. Fortunately it worked out. If not I could have made a quad there.
Q. Aside from playing in the U.S. Open and doing what you want to be doing, is there something about this week just something totally superficial that's very, very cool about playing in the U.S. Open? Something you get, some experience you get to have?
BEAU HOSSLER: I find this kind of weird, but the free dry cleaning in there, that's pretty sweet.
BEAU HOSSLER: I don't drink coffee. Thank you.