Hammer will be third-youngest to play U.S. Open
The 15-year-old cards rounds of 64-68 to sectional qualify in Dallas
June 09, 2015
By Art Stricklin, Special to PGATOUR.COM
- June 09, 2015
- Cole Hammer has committed to play golf at the University of Texas. (Darren Carroll/USGA)
Cole Hammer and his father Greg had planned to celebrate Father's Day at home in Houston.
Now, though, they are headed to their first U.S. Open after the 15-year-old was among six players to advance out of Monday's 36-hole sectional qualifier at Northwood Club in Dallas.
Cole will be the third-youngest player to compete in the U.S. Open at the age of 15 years, 10 months and 20 days. He qualified after shooting 64-68 to finish one stroke behind medalist Mark Silvers in the 78-man field.
Cole, who has won four of his last five junior events, didn't make a bogey in the morning round. That streak ended at No. 7 in the afternoon but Cole later birdied four of his last five holes to assure his U.S. Open debut.
The youngest player to compete in the U.S. Open is Andy Zhang, who was 14 when he played in the 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.
"All I was doing was trying to see how I matched up," said Cole, who had survived local U.S. Open qualifying at the Deerwood Club in Kingwood, Texas. "I hope to make the U.S. Junior this year and some other events. I felt some pressure, but I knew I could do it.
"This gives me a lot of confidence."
Cole, who is a rising sophomore at Kincaid High School, a private school in Houston, has already committed to Texas. He's grown 4 inches over the last 10 months and now stands 5-foot-9 and weighs 125 pounds.
His father caddied for Cole during Monday's qualifier and said he could feel the pressure mount during the final holes in the second 18.
"I didn't know where we stood until No. 17 and then I told him, 'We need one more birdie,'" Greg recalled.
His son responded by hitting his approach at the final hole to 4 feet.