Courtesy of Beth Murrison, USGA
Stroke-play medalist and SCGA member Beau Hossler and 2009 champion Jordan Spieth each won two matches Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2011 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.
After a difficult second-round match Thursday morning, Hossler, 16, of Mission Viejo, Calif., was determined to get off to a better start in the third round against Connor Black, 15, of Katy, Texas, at the par-72, 7,111-yard Olympic Course at Gold Mountain GC. And that’s exactly what he did, winning the second and third holes with birdies.
Hossler, who played in the U.S. Open last month and is playing in his first Junior Amateur, never trailed en route to a 5-and-4 victory.
“It’s the first match where I’ve had a good start,” said Hossler, who is trying to become the first stroke-play medalist to claim the title since Spieth two years ago. “The first few holes out here have given me some problems, so I knew if I got through those holes even or even beating my opponent that I’d have a really good chance.”
Hossler’s quarterfinal opponent will be Adam Ball, 17, of Richmond, Va., who came back from 3 down with six to play in his third-round match against 15-year-old Juan Yumar of Venezuela. Ball eagled No. 14 and made four consecutive birdies starting at the 15th hole to earn a 2-up victory.
“I’ve had really good stretches in my life, but considering the circumstances and winning this tournament has been my dream for the longest time, I really didn’t want to see it crushed right there,” said Ball, who is playing in his third Junior Amateur. “I just kept my head up and finished the best I could.”
The U.S. Junior Amateur field continues with the quarterfinal and semifinal matches Friday. The 36-hole championship final will be played Saturday.
Hossler will tee off at 8 a.m. Friday morning for his quarterfinal matchup.