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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Bryce Harper launches mammoth home run into third deck at National Park

Bryce Harper launches mammoth home run into third deck at National Park

Bryce Harper had been in a little bit of a slump heading into Friday's game against the Padres, but in the seventh inning, he got back to what he does best. 

With a full count and a runner aboard, Harper launched an absolute bomb that landed in the third deck down the right field line at Nationals Park. That means a new seat will be painted red where the ball landed. 

Check out the blast for yourself: 

It was the 15th homer of the year for Harper, which leads the National League. 

More Nationals: Scherzer dominates Padres with 13-strikeout game

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Max Scherzer absolutely dominates Padres, piles up 13 strikeouts

Max Scherzer absolutely dominates Padres, piles up 13 strikeouts

WASHINGTON -- Max Scherzer allowed three hits over 8 2/3 innings, Bryce Harper and Michael A. Taylor hit two-run homers and the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 5-1 on Friday night.

Trea Turner added a solo homer and a double for Washington.

Scherzer (5-3) struck out a season-high 13. He allowed a single to Austin Hodges in the second, Ryan Schimpf's solo homer in the fourth and Allen Cordoba's single in the ninth, throwing 108 pitches, 81 for strikes

Scherzer, who tossed a season-low five innings in a loss to Atlanta last time out, retired 14 straight before Cordoba's single. After a walk to Yangervis Solarte, acting manager Chris Speier visited the mound, but he momentarily left Scherzer in.

However, after a strikeout and a hit batter, Speier called on Koda Glover who struck out pinch-hitter Hunter Renfroe to pick up his fourth save.

With Washington leading 3-1 in the seventh, Harper hit a towering shot into the third deck off reliever Kirby Yates, his 15th of the season.

After Schimpf's homer had tied it 1-1, Taylor quickly regained the lead for Washington when he homered with Matt Wieters aboard in the bottom of the inning.

Since taking over for injured center fielder Adam Lind on April 29, Taylor is hitting .307 (27 for 88) with five doubles, three triples, three homers and 10 RBIs.

San Diego starter Luis Perdomo (0-2) allowed three runs and six hits over six innings. He struck out six and walked two.

In the bottom of the first, Turner sent a 2-1 pitch over the wall in center field the Nationals' first leadoff homer of the season. It was the third of Turner's career.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Padres: OF Manuel Margot, who left Wednesday's game with right calf soreness, was in a walking boot. Manager Andy Green said the boot is a precaution for now. "Becoming increasingly likely that it's a DL stint, but he's active tonight," Green said. . RHP Carter Capps (Tommy John surgery) threw on the side Friday. "There's talk of facing hitters again on Monday or Tuesday," Green said.

Nationals: An MRI on OF Chris Heisey confirmed he has a ruptured right biceps tendon. However, he will attempt to rehab the injury without surgery and could return in a relatively short time. Heisey was on the field during batting practice, shagging fly balls in the outfield.

INSPEIERED LEADERSHIP

With manager Dusty Baker away this weekend to attend his son Darren's high school graduation in California, bench coach Speier is the acting manager. Asked before the game about Ryan Zimmerman and Daniel Murphy being out the lineup, Speier deadpanned: "Actually, Zimmerman had a whiffle ball accident with his daughter, sprained his right wrist and Murph's back is blown out." He quickly added: "Just a day off."

UP NEXT

Padres: LHP Clayton Richards (3-5, 4.31) is 1-3 in 10 career appearances, six starts, against the Nationals with a 3.56 ERA

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (5-1, 3.28) faces his hometown team for the seventh time in his career. He is 5-1 with a 3.50 ERA against San Diego.