Cole Hammer (SBIA photo)
Cole Hammer is a winner once again.
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. Today he followed a third round 62 -- which vaulted him into the 54-hole lead -- with a closing 69 to claim the title at the South Beach International Amateur in Miami.
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.
He picked a great time to pick up a big "W" in one of the biggest tournaments of the year, even though the "International" in the name may not has been as apparent in the field makeup this year due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
That's because Walker Cup captain Nathaniel Crosby was in attendance. Hammer is trying to make his second Walker Cup team, having been a part of the winning U.S. team in 2019 at England's Royal Liverpool.
Last week, Hammer was one of 16 players to participate in a Walker Cup practice session under the eye of Crosby in Orlando.
After posting 62 on Monday, the job was far from done, even though Hammer had a four-shot lead over Hammer -- Duke signee Kelly Chinn, Frenchman Pierre Viallaneix, of Western Carolina, and Zack Taylor of Coastal Carolina.
Despite getting off to a slow start with bogeys on two of the first three holes, Hammer bounced back with a birdie on No. 4, and never saw a square on the virtual scorecard from that point on. He made three more birdies, including two on the back en route to a final round 69 and five shot victory over Viallaneix,.
At 16-under for 72 holes -- with all four rounds in the 60s -- Hammer ended 2020 in style, and positioned himself for more of the same in 2021.
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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