By Dan Arritt     1/24/2017

Beau Hossler played on the PGA Tour long before he became a professional golfer. Later this month, he’ll finally get the chance to do both.

Hossler, a Santa Margarita graduate who the caught eyes of the golfing world as a 17-year-old amateur at the 2012 U.S. Open, is set to make his PGA Tour professional debut Jan. 26 at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego.

The early-season tournament is shaping up to be as star-studded as a U.S. Open.

Tiger Woods announced on Jan. 5 that he’d make his 2017 debut at Torrey Pines, his first PGA Tour appearance since August 2015. Other well-known entrants include Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose. The tournament falls between the NFL’s conference title games and the Super Bowl, which will surely increase national interest.

The 21-year-old Hossler turned professional in July after opting to skip his senior year at the University of Texas, where he was the NCAA player of the year in 2015. Hossler announced his intentions in a lengthy Instagram post, part of which read:

“I have been preparing to become a professional golfer, and have dreamed of this day for more than ten years. I am blessed to have surrounded myself with some of the greatest people in the world. Without each one of their contributions, I would not be in this position today. … Santa Margarita Catholic High School provided a perfect stepping stone….”

Before he could begin earning money on the course, however, he needed surgery on his left shoulder after suffering a torn labrum in late May in the semifinals of the NCAA team championships.

With the surgery and recovery behind him, Hossler made his pro debut in November at the TaylorMade Pebble Beach Invitational, an independent event that matches players from the PGA, LPGA Tour, PGA Tour Champions, and tours. He tied for eighth.

He then played a one-day event on the Adams Pro Tour, a stepping stone for PGA Tour hopefuls, and tied for 22nd. He pocketed $331.25.

Two days later, Hossler returned to the same course at Cypresswood Golf Club in Spring, Tex. and won the two-day event after shooting 67 and 66 on the par-72 layout, earning $5,200.

Hossler has not qualified to play on the PGA Tour full time, so he’ll need to take advantage of sponsor exemptions, such as the one that got him into the field at Torrey Pines. Non-tour members can use up to eight sponsor exemptions during the year and try to parlay those into more opportunities.

Hossler knows what it’s like to be in contention for a PGA Tour victory. Shortly after completing his junior year at Santa Margarita, Hossler made the field for the 2012 U.S. Open, becoming the first high school golfer since 1951 to play in consecutive U.S. Opens.

On the second day of the event, he briefly took the lead over Woods after rolling in a 12-foot birdie putt on his 11th hole of the day. He ended up finishing in a tie for 29th, a result that would have earned him $53,168 if he were professional.

Now that he’s a pro, he won’t have to let paydays like that pass him by anymore.