San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - One of the big stories on Thursday was 14-year-old amateur Andy Zhang. Another teenager took center stage on day two.
Beau Hossler, 17, made it into this championship for the second straight year. He missed the cut last year, but this time around is a completely different story.
The youngster grabbed the lead by himself with two birdies in a three-hole span on Friday. After seven pars to start his round, Hossler rolled in a birdie effort from just inside five feet to grab a piece of the lead.
At the long par-four first, Hossler drained a 6-footer for birdie to get to 2- under. Suddenly, the teenager, who recently committed to play for the national champion Texas Longhorns, was the leader of the U.S. Open Championship.
"It was pretty special. I knew out there I was going low. I was looking at the leaderboards, obviously," Hossler said in a TV interview. "I saw my name up there at 2-under and I think the rest of the guys were 1-under. It was amazing. I felt comfortable out there other than the first tee shot."
Reality set in a little as he tripped to a bogey on the second. Hossler made a mess of the fourth as he faltered to a double-bogey.
That dropped Hossler two out of the lead, but his wild ride wasn't over. After a poor drive on the fifth, where his tee ball caromed into a bunker on another hole, he hit a remarkable recovery shot.
Hossler hooked a shot through countless trees back into his own fairway. He knocked his third onto the green, but he was 40 feet from the hole and two- putted for bogey.
He followed with another bogey at the sixth, but chipped in for birdie on the par-4 seventh to get back to plus-2, but he bogeyed the last to end the round four behind the leaders.
"My goal is to be low amateur. That's the goal for the tournament," Hossler said on TV. "I'm not sure where the other amateurs stand right now, but I just want to go out there and stay in my zone and avoid the mental mistakes."
PETERSON LOOKING TO JOIN EXLCUSIVE GROUP
There are just five select gentlemen that have won both the NCAA individual championship and the U.S. Open.
John Peterson is looking to add his name to that list. The 2011 NCAA champion, finished two rounds at the U.S. Open at plus-1 and is just two off the lead.
"Made a lot of pars and was 2-over for a long time," Peterson said. "Made a couple of birdies on the back nine, which is in my opinion an easier side, if there is an easier side out here. But ended up making two birdies to level it off."
So who would Peterson join is he were able to win this week? A few guys you might have heard of before.
You might know Jack Nicklaus, a four-time U.S. Open winner? Or three-time champions Hale Irwin and Tiger Woods? The other two were Curtis Strange, the last back-to-back U.S. Open winner (1988, 89) and Scott Simpson, who twice won the NCAA title.
How did he get here? Peterson made it through both stages of qualifying, then shot 71 in the opening round with a double bogey, four bogeys and five birdies.
In his second round, Peterson started on the ninth. He birdied the 12th and 17th to get to 1-under par.
Around the turn, he tripped to bogeys on the first and fifth to slip to plus-1.
"I didn't hit it as close as I should have a few times. I kept hitting it to 30 or 40 feet," Peterson said. "And out here you've just got to lag those, because if you run that thing six or seven feet by, it's going to have a foot of break coming back and it's a tough putt."
Through two rounds, he is handling those tough putts nicely and will play alongside fellow LSU alum David Toms in the third round. They might talk a little football to keep their minds off the tough task at hand.
EXPERIENCE NOT NECESSARILY AN ADVANTAGE
There were several players that competed in previous events at The Olympic Club, and there was even a club member in the field.
That knowledge wasn't exactly a big help this week.
Rickie Fowler, Kyle Stanley and Brian Harman all played the 2004 U.S. Junior Amateur and the 2007 U.S. Amateur at the Olympic Club.
Fowler made the cut on the number at plus-8, while Stanley and Harman missed by a stroke.
Michael Thompson and Colt Knost battled in the finals at that U.S. Amateur. Thompson used that knowledge to grab the first-round lead, but he fell back to reality on Friday.
Thompson stumbled to a 5-over 75 to slide into a share of fourth at 1-over-par 141. Meanwhile, Knost never got anything going as he went 13-over par and missed the cut by five strokes.
Champions Tour player and Olympic Club member Michael Allen is in the top 20 after two rounds, but it could have been better, After four bogeys and a birdie through eight holes, he parred the last 10 to finish five back
* Through two rounds, there have been just 10 eagles with two of them in the second round. Lee Slattery and Steve Stricker both eagled No. 17 on Friday.
* Spencer Levin may not have enjoyed his 28th birthday today. He struggled to a 7-over 77 and missed the cut by three strokes.
* Thompson leads the field in birdies with 10. He has three more birdies than four players, including 2010 winner Graeme McDowell.
* Hossler will battle fellow amateurs Jordan Spieth and Patrick Cantlay for low amateur honors. Spieth and Cantlay made the cut on the number at plus-8 and are five shots behind Hossler.
* There is no longer a 10-shot rule, so the cut was just the top 60 and ties, which ended up being 72 players. With the 10-shot rule, 94 players would have made the final two rounds.
* For the second day in a row, the par-five 17th was the easiest hole. It averaged 4.78 strokes on Friday and has been played to an average of 4.78 shots through two rounds.
* The par-four sixth was the toughest hole Friday, averaging 4.60 strokes. After two rounds, the long par-four first was the hardest overall as it played to an average of 4.55 strokes.