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"He had to be nervous," said caddie Bill Schellenberg, a family friend. "Yesterday it was like a qualifier. We had a fun day, loose as can be. He played well, laughed, just had nothing but fun. We were on the same path today and then he birdies No. 17 then we're off to 18 and all of a sudden there's cameras and stuff all over us. I don't know about him, but I started to get nervous at that point."
"I kind of experienced that actually myself at Oakland Hills, same deal, first round, made a few mistakes after that," Woods said. "I think he's kind of made a few mistakes as well."
Hossler's story is a familiar one in golf. He would tag along with his father when he was little, playing a few holes at a time, until he finally got serious about the game around the age of eight. By the time he was 12 he was winning tournaments, and he qualified for the U.S. Amateur at the age of 14. After a growth spurt that helped his driving distance, he qualified for the Open at Congressional, missing the cut after rounds of 76-77.
"He has the ability, I think, to stay calm in uncalm situations," Hossler's father said. "In Little League he was always calm, too. He doesn't get too high or too low, he just rolls with the punches."
That kind of attitude got him to the top of the Open leaderboard, even if it was short-lived. It got him some television time, and some reporters who wanted to ask him questions afterward.
He's not going to win the Open, something he seems to realize. His goal is still to be low amateur, and he's got a five-shot lead over the other two amateurs to make the cut, Patrick Cantlay, who used to beat him regularly in the Los Angeles area, and Jordan Spieth.
And, of course, there are the Open perks that will continue through the weekend.
"I find this kind of weird, but the free dry cleaning in there, that's pretty sweet," he said.
Add a few more shirts to the next order. Because Hossler is playing the weekend in the U.S. Open.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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