- University of Texas photo
Cole Hammer (Houston, Texas) shot a 9-under 62 at Miami Beach Golf Club to take a four-shot lead into the final round of the South Beach International Amateur.
The University of Texas junior has been trying to regain his 2018-2019 form which saw him win the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the world's top-ranked golfer. During that time, he won the Western Amateur, the Azalea Amateur, and was a U.S. Amateur semifinalist. In ten college and amateur events this year, his best finish has been 7th, with only three top-20 finishes.
Scoring has been ideal all week at the SBIA, and Hammer took full advantage, with nine birdies and no bogeys. He had a chance to tie the course record with a birdie on 18, but fell one shot.
Still, he picked a good time for a low round, with Walker Cup captain Nathaniel Crosby in attendance. Hammer is trying to make his second Walker Cup team, having been a part of the winning U.S. team in 2019. Last week, he was one of 16 players to participate in a Walker Cup practice session under the eye of Crosby.
At 14 under par, Hammer will take a 4-shot lead into the final round over three players -- Duke signee Kelly Chinn, Pierre Viallaneix, of Western Carolina, and Zack Taylor of Coastal Carolina. The next pair of players are two more shots back at 8 under par.
36-hole co-leaders Frankie Capan (73) and Ben Smith (71) dropped down the leaderboard as others kept producing red numbers.
The final round starts Tuesday at 8:00am local time.
ROUND TWO RECAP
Perfect scoring conditions graced the South Beach International Amateur (SBIA) for the second straight day, and the stellar field took advantage. The 2020 SBIA recorded its lowest cut line in its 10 year history, with all players moving on being at even par or better.
Florida Gulf Coast’s Frankie Capan followed up his 68 Saturday at Miami Beach with a 5-birdie, one-eagle and two-bogey 65 to finish at 8 under for 36 holes. Capan transferred from Alabama to FGCU this year and won the 2017 U.S. Four-Ball with Shuai Ming (Ben) Wong. He is also the reigning Minnesota Amateur champion.
He shares the lead with Georgia Tech’s Ben Smith who fired an even more stellar 63 at Normandy Shores. Smith took only one bogey with a round that featured 6 birdies and an eagle. Archie Davies from Wales and Eastern Tennessee State is in second place, one shot behind after a five-birdie no-bogey effort.
The round of the day was turned in by Texas San Antonio’s Michael Rome. Rome’s SBIA tying course record 61 at Normandy Shores featured 9 birdies and no bogeys as he birdied 6 of the last 7 holes.
Lynn University’s Jorge Villar of Mexico carded the Miami Beach round of the day, with a 5-under-par 66 featuring 7 birdies and two bogeys.
74 players made the 36-hole cut, and all of them will be within 8 shots of the lead when they tee off on Monday. While the pressure is always intense, it will be even more so as Walker Cup Captain Nathaniel Crosby will be scouting the top players for his final team selection. Tee Times will begin at 8:00am at Miami Beach Golf Club and ideal scoring conditions are expected again.
ABOUT THE South Beach International
72-hole event with 36-hole cut. Open to
ranked amateurs, college players, mid-amateurs
and juniors. Non-exempt players must submit a playing
resume to be considered for the field.
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