Hossler aims to contend at Congressional

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Hossler aims to contend at Congressional

There was a time in the not-so-distant past when Beau Hossler could go to the shopping mall or a fast food joint without being recognized.
After the 17-year-olds breakthrough performance at the U.S. Open earlier this month, though, those days are gone. In fact, at this weeks AT&T National at Congressional Country Club, Hossler figures to be among the tournaments most compelling stories.
I was buying socks at Macys the other day and some person didnt believe it was me, said Hossler, who was a trending topic on Twitter during the Open. So I had to show them my I.D.
Its pretty cool, though, because a lot of people know who I am now, he continued, speaking with a calmness and perspective that belies his youth. Im getting stopped in airports and everything, taking pictures. You wouldnt expect the guy at Jack in the Box to recognize me, but they kind of do now.
Hosslers ascension from a relatively unknown amateur to celebrity has been as swift as unexpected. Two weeks ago, Hossler, a rising senior at Santa Margarita Catholic High in California, played his way into contention and briefly led the U.S. Open at famously cantankerous Olympic Golf Club in San Francisco. He entered the final round only four shots behind the leaders but struggled Sunday and finished tied for 29th.
Despite the disappointment, the experience left Hossler a much more a confident golfer.
Its probably the confidence and belief in myself to go out there and compete against the best players in the world, Hossler said, asked what he learned about himself at Olympic. Obviously, I know Im not quite to their level yet, but I feel like I can potentially be there in the future if I keep working hard.
Hossler did not anticipate being in Bethesda this weekend; he was supposed to be competing in the California State Amateur tournament. But when he was offered a sponsors exemption from the Tiger Woods Foundation, he jumped at the opportunity.
What he did at the U.S. Open is pretty remarkable, said Woods, the tournaments host. It was his consistency and handling of that golf course, and being as consistent as he was on that big stage. That was impressive to see.
In Thursday's opening round, Hossler will be paired with Billy Hurley III and Kyle Reifers.
Hossler already has some familiarity with Congressional, having played in the U.S. Open here last year when he was the youngest player in the field and just a week removed from getting his drivers license. He missed the cut in his first major, after firing rounds of 76 and 77.
Expectations are much higher now. But Hossler, who has accepted a scholarship offer to play at the University of Texas, said hes ready for the pressure and added attention.
I feel pretty comfortable, he said. Its still me and my caddie and the golf course. No matter all the media, who is in the field, where the venue is, Ive still got to go out there and compete against the golf course and compete against myself.
I feel like I can do it, he added. I just have to get more consistent.
One club Hossler wants to wield with more confidence and consistency is his driver, which could be a key to contending here at Congressional.Im normally a pretty good driver, he said. But sometimes I feel like Ive had some inconsistent weeks. When youre playing on difficult golf courses, theres no cheating the driver. You see the guys that drive it well out here, theyre consistently in the top 10 and consistently winning or top 5.
Asked if he can envision claiming the trophy Sunday, Hossler didnt hesitate.
Sure, he said. I mean, I respect the games of every player out here. They are obviously the best players in the world. But I feel like I can go out there and compete. Im obviously Im going to have to play my best golf, theres no doubt about it. But I think I can go out there, and if I prepare well, which I feel like I have I think I can get myself into contention.

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Will Orioles come out of the Bronx on the way to postseason?

Will Orioles come out of the Bronx on the way to postseason?

Tonight's Game:

Baltimore Orioles (87-72) vs. New York Yankees (83-76), Yankee Stadium, Bronx, N.Y., 7:05 p.m.

Starting pitchers:

Yovani Gallardo (5-8, 5.63) vs. Michael Pineda (6-11, 4.68)

Keys to the Game:

Can Gallardo give the Orioles a credible start? In his last start at Yankee Stadium, on Aug. 26, he allowed eight runs--seven earned--in 1 1/3 innings, his shortest major league start.

Can the Orioles forget about outside influences? Toronto is playing three games at Boston, and the weather this weekend in the Northeast is supposed to be horrible.

News and Notes:

The Orioles and Blue Jays are tied for the top wild-card spot. Detroit is 1 1/2 games back, and Seattle trails by two. The Yankees were eliminated Thursday night. 

Gallardo is 1-3 with a 7.62 ERA in five starts against New York and 1-2 with an 8.16 ERA in three starts at Yankee Stadium. 

Pineda is 4-2 with a 3.73 ERA in 11 starts against the Orioles.

Wade Miley is scheduled to start on Saturday and Kevin Gausman is in line to start Sunday. Dylan Bundy will be available in the bullpen.

MORE ORIOLES: JIMENEZ BRILLIANT AS O'S TIE JAYS

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Jimenez is brilliant as Orioles tie Blue Jays for wild-card

Jimenez is brilliant as Orioles tie Blue Jays for wild-card

Orioles 4, Blue Jays 0

Winner: Jimenez (8-12)
Loser: Stroman (9-10)

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Ubaldo Jimenez allowed just one hit in 6 2/3  innings, walking three and striking out five. 

The only hit was to leadoff batter Ezequiel Carrera.

Jimenez, who recorded just one out and allowed five first-inning runs on June 12 in his last start at Rogers Centre, retired 11 straight at one point. 

WHAT WENT WRONG: Cleveland and Detroit were rained out, possibly complicating the Orioles logistical plans. That game will be made up on Monday if it has a bearing on the wild-card or playoff seeding. 

WHAT IT MEANS: The Orioles and Blue Jays are tied for the top wild-card spot. They hold a 1 ½ game lead over the Tigers. If the Orioles win their final three games, they’re guaranteed a playoff spot. 

If Toronto and Baltimore tie, the Blue Jays host Tuesday’s wild-card game because they won the season series, 10-9. 

BRACH ENDS IT: Donnie Hart recorded one out, and Brad Brach pitched two shutout innings. 

PRODUCTIVE OUTS: The Orioles’ first two runs scored on outs. Manny Machado’s sacrifice fly in the first inning scored J.J. Hardy.

Chris Davis scored the second run when Michael Bourn hit into a fielder’s choice.

KIM AGAIN: A night after hitting a two-run, ninth-inning home run, Hyun Soo Kim drove in the Orioles’ third run in the seventh inning.  

RARE STEAL: Michael Bourn stole a base for the second straight game. Bourn is now tied for second on the club with two steals. The club leader, Joey Rickard, has four, and hasn’t played in more than two months. 

Bourn’s steal was important because he scored on Kim’s single. 

TRUMBO STRETCHES: Mark Trumbo stretched a single into a double in the eighth, and he scored the fourth run on a single by Matt Wieters. 

BAUTISTA CAN’T SOLVE JIMENEZ: Jose Bautista was 0-for-3 against Jimenez, and in his career, he’s 3-for-38 against him. 

WHAT’S NEXT? The Orioles travel to Yankee Stadium for the final three games of the regular season. Yovani Gallardo (5-8, 5.63) faces Michael Pineda (6-11, 4.68). 

RELATED: Orioles want to wrap up wild-card this weekend