Cole Hammer, everybody. Cole. Hammer.
It’s early, but I’m going to take a shot in the dark and say this name might rank up there with “Tiger Woods” one day, perhaps a historic parallel set to play out that runs deeper than just another golfer with an awesome name, seeing as Hammer, a 15-year-old from Houston, Texas, came out absolutely firing dropping a 64 in USGA Dallas sectional play to earn a spot in this year’s U.S. Open field, which will be hosted at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, WA, next week.
For The Win reports on the kid’s filthy skills that will be put to the test on national television come June 18th.
He’s already verbally committed to play golf for the University of Texas after he graduates in 2018, and the Hammer showed his power once again on Monday, when he shot 64-68 during sectional qualifying in Dallas to nail-down a spot in the 2015 U.S. Open. When he tees it up next week, he’ll become the fourth-youngest player to play in a U.S. Open.
Those numbers aren’t even fair. God-like almost, considering the difficulty of the track Hammer was playing. To give you some perspective, Tiger Woods’ lowest round as an 18-year-old freshman at Stanford in 1994 was a 66. So for Cole Hammer to be shooting below that mark, well, let’s just say numbers like that don;t come by way of birdies and eagles haplessly falling out of the sky.
It seems we’ll get to witness some golf history regardless of how young Hammer (needs to be a nickname that sticks) plays, but the 15-year-old sounds calm and poised ahead of what is sure to be the grandest tournament experience of his life.
From The Dallas Morning News:
“This means the world to me,” Hammer said. “I’ve dreamed about it my whole life. It’s going to be awesome.”
With a growth spurt over the last 10 months, Hammer has added 4 inches and 15 pounds — to 5-9, 125.
The distance increase helped him stay with playing partners Martin Flores, a PGA Tour player from Fort Worth, and Jon Trasamar of Blue Earth, Minn. (Flores fell three short of the qualifying number).
“This gives me a lot of confidence,” Hammer said. “I was coming in thinking I was a bit of a long shot, but why not? Just give it my best shot.”
Having won four of his last five junior events, Hammer had momentum on his side. He made few mistakes in the morning, shooting a six-birdie, no-bogey 64.
After going 24 holes without a bogey, he made his first on No. 7 and then bogeyed 12. Needing to make up ground, Hammer birdied four of the final five holes.
“I was confident,” he said. “I’ve been hitting it well and putting well, so I thought if I continue doing that here I’ll have a chance.”
Sounds like an awfully good winning attitude to me, with the play to obviously match.
Who knows, maybe we’ll all be watching a future legend’s first tournament come June 18th? I’m pulling for it, for one.
[h/t For The Win]