Beau knows golf
Amateur Beau Hossler acknowledges the gallery after sinking a birdie putt on the seventh hole on Saturday during the third round of the U.S. Open. He shot an even-par 70. (Reuters)
With all due deference to Ol’ Blue Eyes, I dare you to play your own version of It Was a Very Good Year.
Frank Sinatra croons in the classic’s opening refrain — parodied so well by The Simpsons — “When I was 17...”
But, seriously, think about what you were doing when you were 17.
I was driving a sand gold 1974 Buick Apollo, a car that was new the same year I was born.
I was skipping the last class every second day of high school to split a six-pack of beer with some friends while listening to Al Stewart records (for some reason we though Time Passages was cool).
I had a junior membership at the local 9-hole club and I hated it when my buddy’s dad tried to tell me what I was doing wrong. Damn him, I would just handle my banana slice by lining up at the fairway to the left of the one I was playing.
I had a job at the local gas bar, earning enough to keep gas in the car and party on the weekends while saving nothing for a post-secondary education.
I thought I was pretty smart. I wasn’t. I thought civil engineering was the career path for me. It wasn’t, but maybe it should have been.
I never led a U.S. Open. I never had the talent to do something like that and I don’t think I would have been nearly mature enough to handle it if I had.
That’s what makes 17-year-old Beau Hossler’s run this year so awesome, no matter what happens.
The kid led the U.S. Open on Friday and he hung in there on Saturday when golfers far his senior had been cut. And he handled himself with grace both on the course and in the media tent.
When Hossler was asked what he would have said if someone would have told him a 17-year-old amateur would have led in a U.S. Open, he was honest.
“I would probably tell them they’re nuts”
It is nuts, isn’t it? Especially if you compare it to where you were at 17.
And one thing that really makes me feel old: The U.S. Open champ when I was 17? Tom Kite.