Andy Zhang and Beau Hossler, two teenagers who captured the imaginations of the golfing public during last month’s U.S. Open will be in the field for next week’s U.S. Junior Amateur at The Golf Club of New England in Stratham, N.H.
Zhang, who at 14 became the youngest golfer to play in a men’s Open, was a media magnet during his stint at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. The Chinese-born San Diego resident who impressed playing partners Bubba Watson and Aaron Baddeley during a practice round prior to the Open, will, no doubt, receive the Tiger Woods treatment when he tees it up in New Hampshire.
Then there’s Hossler, who flew under the radar until Zhang missed the cut. A 17-year-old who will be a high school senior in the fall, Hossler had designs on winning the major championship after he held the lead for a short time during Saturday’s second round. Alas, he, too, faltered down the stretch amid some sloppy play that knocked him out of the running for low amateur.
Both young men will tee it up in the amateur contest, which will run from July 16 through July 21 on the Arnold Palmer-designed course — the first time a New Hampshire facility will host a USGA championship. Last year’s U.S. Junior champ, Jordan Spieth, who beat Hossler to the low am title at the Open, is a sophomore at Hossler’s future alma mater, the University of Texas. Spieth, 18, is too old to play in this year’s tilt but is in the field at this week’s John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour and will try to qualify for the tour later this year.
Emily Kay is a regular contributor to New England Golf Monthly. You may follow Kay on Twitter @golfexaminer