By Steve Lansdale
AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas men’s golf team might have come up just short in its pursuit of the national championship, but the accolades continue to roll in for the Longhorns.
A day after head coach John Fields was named the national men’s golf coach of the year, Beau Hossler earned the highest individual award for a player when he was named the recipient of the Fred Haskins Award, which has been presented annually since 1971 to the nation’s most outstanding collegiate golfer, selected by his peers, coaches and the media.
“This is such an honor,” Hossler said. “I really can't put into words the work and effort I have put in, but this really would not have been possible without everyone on my team, whether in Texas or California. It's a huge honor to represent them.”
Hossler’s award marked the seventh time it was awarded to a Longhorn. Brad Elder won the award in 1997, Justin Leonard in 1994, Bob Estes in 1987 and Ben Crenshaw won it three times, in 1971, 1972 and 1973.
Fields said Hossler’s success is a byproduct of his upbringing and his inner drive, and said that the junior from Mission Viejo, Calif., not only performs at a high level but also helps his teammates improve, as well.
“Beau is blessed with incredible physical ability, but he's also extremely intelligent,” Fields said. “I think he gets his fire from his dad and his relaxed state that you guys saw from his mom. It's so exciting to be able to coach someone like Beau. He also puts the work in — there is no possible way that he could have achieved this type of success without an incredible work ethic. I see that every day, whether it's in school or golf. He has brought that level of intensity to our team and has benefited his teammates.”
Hossler said that while he is understandably proud of the award, he did not have it on his list of goals at the start of the season. Now that he has won it, however, he said he understands the company he now keeps as a recipient of the award.
“In truth, it's not an award you really strive for, because it's so high up there,” he said. “It's pretty much like the Heisman Trophy of college golf. If you strive for that at the beginning of the year, then you get ahead of yourself and start looking too much into the results. I tried to set processed goals this year — making sure I was doing the right things while I was in Austin and while I was at home to get prepared to play in tournaments. Once I won a couple of tournaments, I started realizing the importance of the award, how special it would be not only for me, but my school and my family, everybody who I represent.
“It's really special to see guys like Phil Mickelson and Ben Crenshaw, guys like that. [Stanford’s] Maverick McNealy, one of my good friends, won last year, obviously had a tremendous season and backed it up with another amazing season. To be on that list with those guys is a tremendous honor.”