As the golf world waits and wonders if former Servite High School standout Patrick Cantlay can regain the form that made him the top-ranked amateur in the world four years ago, another Trinity League graduate continues to build his resume.
Beau Hossler, who graduated from Santa Margarita Catholic High School and is now a 20-year-old junior at the University of Texas, won the prestigious Nike Collegiate Invitational earlier this month at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club outside Portland, Ore.
He shot a career-best 18-under par 197 in the three-round event, the most impressive performance by a Texas player in years. His weekend was highlighted by a career-low 64 during the final round Oct. 6, helping Hossler earn medalist honors by a whopping six strokes. He shot rounds of 68 and 65 the other two days and didn’t produce a bogey or higher over the final 49 holes.
“Beau played outstanding golf on days two and three,” Texas Coach John Fields said afterward. “Scores of 65 and 64 at the historic Witch Course at Pumpkin Ridge is simply outstanding.”
Hossler, some might remember, first gained notoriety when he briefly took the lead during the second round of the 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, eventually finishing 29th. He was only 17 years old and had just wrapped up his junior year at Santa Margarita. That performance motivated him to graduate early from high school and enroll at Texas in January of 2013.
He led the Longhorns with a 71.80 scoring average his first season in 2013-14 and was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. He lowered his team-leading scoring average to 70.58 last season, earning conference player of the year. He qualified for the U.S. Open for a third time last summer, made the cut and finished tied for 58th.
There was a time when Cantlay’s career was on a similar trajectory.
His dream year took place in 2011, when he made the cut in all five of his PGA Tour starts while still a teenager and became the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world. His best finish was a tie for ninth at the RBC Canadian Open, though 2011 is probably best remembered for the course-record 60 he shot in the second round at the Travelers Cup, the lowest score ever for an amateur in a PGA Tour event.
Cantlay left UCLA the following year and turned pro, but things haven’t been the same, starting with the 2012 Travelers Cup, where he missed the cut in his first event as a professional.
There were a few moments of greatness, such as when he finished as the low amateur at the 2012 Masters, but by 2013 back problems began to surface and the condition became so unbearable that Cantlay was forced to drop out of an event in September of that year.
He attempted to regain his PGA Tour card in 2014, but grew so frustrated at a qualifying event outside Washington, D.C. that he reportedly didn’t turn in his scorecard. He resurfaced for one event last November and hasn’t played a PGA event since.
His father, Steve Cantlay, and instructor, Jamie Mulligan, say Cantlay is continuing his rehabilitation this fall and is hopeful of a comeback during the upcoming golf season.
If all goes well, he could be sharing the course with Hossler in 2016.