Hossler, 17, in contention after Round 1

June, 14, 2012
06/14/12
3:47
PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO -- An amateur hasn't won the U.S. Open since Johnny Goodman did it in 1933 at the North Shore Country Club in Chicago. It's likely that it won't happen this week, but 17-year-old Beau Hossler didn't hurt his chances with an opening-round even-par 70 on Thursday. The American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) star had three birdies and three bogeys on his round.

Hossler was off in the first group from the first tee at 7:15 a.m. PT, so he benefited from having pure greens on his first nine holes. There was also very little wind in the morning.

"I was a lot less nervous than I was last year," said Hossler, who was in the field at Congressional in 2011. "I feel like I prepared myself well for the tournament. I am not at all surprised by [my] round today. I have been playing very well."

When I talked to Hossler last week, he was finishing up finals to complete his junior year of high school in Orange County, Calif. He was more worried about his Latin final than what he would do at Olympic.

When all but a handful of the best players in the world shot over par in the morning, Hossler's even-par round shows that he's got a lot of game and shouldn't be ignored this week.

Since Goodman, Jack Nicklaus has come the closest as an amateur to win an Open, when he finished second in 1960 at Cherry Hills.

Farrell Evans covers golf for ESPN and can be contacted at evans.espn@gmail.com.

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