It’s Not Just About Money For Hossler, But The Money’s Not Bad

The most spectacular shot of Beau Hossler’s 7-under par 64 Thursday to lead the first round of the inaugural Myrtle Beach Classic was one that elicited shouts of jubilation from fans clustered around the par-5 13th green – and, later, a shrug from the man who struck it.

“Oh yeah,” the seventh-year PGA Tour player from Texas said when asked about his hole-out eagle from a greenside bunker on The Dunes Golf & Beach Club’s most famous hole, dubbed Waterloo. “I should be asking you. I couldn’t see it.”

The 75-foot blast, following a tee shot of 290 yards and an approach from 262 yards, landed where Hossler wanted. “I thought the left bunker would be a good place,” he said, then grinned. “Obviously, I’d never expect to make it. … I didn’t see it go in, but I felt like it was a pretty good shot.”

Good enough to vault Hossler past early-round co-leaders Davis Thompson and Sam Ryder, who each shot 6-under on The Dunes Club’s back nine but struggled coming home. Hossler immediately bogeyed away his lead at the 14th hole, but a birdie at the 15th returned him atop a crowded leader board.

“I saw it go up and then I heard people say, ‘Good shot,’” he said. “Yeah, it was nice. I left it right at the spot where I wanted.”

Which, of course, left Hossler exactly where he’d hoped to be after 18 holes: in the lead, or in this case, tied for the top spot with 2023 European Ryder Cup player Robert MacIntyre, who birdied his final hole, The Dunes Club’s ninth.

China’s Zecheng Dou, who goes by Marty and lives in Texas, shared the lead with Hossler and MacIntyre at 7-under par after a birdie at the 11th hole and eagles at the par-5 13th and 15th holes. But Dou (pronounced “doe”) then bogeyed the 17th to fall back to 6-under, tied with Thompson, Canadian-turned-U.S. citizen Alister Docherty and Argentina’s Alejandro Tosti.

Five more were tied at 5-under, while a logjam of 11 players were at 4-under, among them Ryder, who bogeyed the fifth and ninth holes on his inward nine.

“I got off to a great start,” said Thompson, who birdied five of his first six holes. “Hit the first nine greens, had great birdie looks and was able to make a few. (I) just kind of cruised on the back, but it was a good start.”

Thompson is the rare player in the field with prior knowledge of The Dunes Club, having competed there in 2019 while play college golf for Georgia. “So I was kind of familiar with it,” he said. “I remember I played really good one round, but I don’t remember how I did the other two rounds. But I try to remember the good stuff.”

Hossler, who began 2024 with top-15 finishes at the Farmers Insurance Open (tie-6th) and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (tie-14th) but has cooled off since, dubbed his first competitive round on The Dunes Club’s par-71 layout “solid. It was a bit of a grind. I don’t feel like I hit that many greens, but I feel like I hit the ball well. … My chipping and putting (were) excellent.”

He started hot with birdies on three of his first five holes for a bogey-free front nine. He then birdied Nos. 11 and 12 before his eagle at 13.

Hossler said his year to date has been “very mediocre the last couple of months” (his best finish a tie for 52nd), but “I feel like I’m trending, got some stuff that I’m working on that I feel pretty excited about.” He shrugged again. “It’s peaks and valleys in this sport.”

He should know. There’s a fascinating factoid about Hossler’s career that, one senses, he gets tired of discussing: he’s eighth among fully exempt PGA Tour players who’ve won more than $10 million ($10,757,870.84 to be exact) without winning a tournament; two other players, Harold Varner III and Cameron Tringale, now ply their trade in LIV Golf. In all, 19 players over the years have “qualified” for the $10 million/no win “club.”

Asked if he was aware of that statistic, Hossler was succinct: “I was.” Asked if that would make a victory this week even bigger for him, he was even more so: “Nope.”

At least he’s in decent company. Topping the list of big-money-but-no-victory players is Tommy Fleetwood, with a stack of no-win paydays totaling more than $24 million. All of which, Hossler insisted, proves a point.

“A win is a win,” he said. “It’s what we play for. … The other stuff is nice (but) that’s basically a product of us playing for more money” than long-ago players. “I’m trying to win every week that I play, no matter what.”

He also knows about shots like his eagle-producer at 13 – and how such can go awry. In April 2018 at the Houston Open, Hossler was the tournament co-leader through 54 holes and still in front by a shot at the end before England’s Ian Poulter birdied to force the playoff.

On the first extra hole, Hossler hit into a bunker (shades of Thursday), but then sent his next shot into the water, resulting in a triple-bogey and subsequent runner-up finish. Perhaps ironically, that day remains Hossler’s best result on the PGA Tour.

It hasn’t all been frustration; en route to $10 million-plus, he’s made the cut in about two-thirds of his 188 tournaments. “I think I’m pretty good in golf,” he said with a smirk.
“We play for a lot of money out here. We’re really blessed to do what we love to do and make a lot of money, but you don’t lay your head on the pillow thinking about money. You think about winning golf tournaments and what you’re trying to work towards and stuff like that.

“It’s great. I’m very lucky. I’m blessed to have a career that I get to do what I love to do and support myself (and) my family. I’m very, very fortunate to have that
.
“At the same time, I don’t count money.”
Still, until he turns days like Thursday into victories on Sunday, the money isn’t a bad reward.

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