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Cole Hammer back in familiar territory with a five-shot win at South Beach International Amateur

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In the summer of 2018, Cole Hammer seemed invincible. He won the Azalea Invitaitonal in March, the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball in May, waltzed through 72 holes of stroke play and another four matches to win the Western Amateur (one of the most grueling events in golf) and two weeks later, played his way to the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach.

Hammer, now a junior at the University of Texas, last won a title as a Longhorn freshman at an NCAA Regional in 2019. Now he’s the South Beach Amateur champion.

It wasn’t even particularly close at Miami Beach Golf Club on Tuesday as Hammer coasted home in the 72-hole event with a final-round 2-under 69 for a five-shot win. He posted four rounds in the 60s and finished the week at 16 under.

Hammer took a four-shot lead into the final round but bogeyed two of his first three holes. He recovered with birdie on two of his next four and was back in the driver’s seat on an exceptionally windy South Florida day.

Scores: South Beach International Amateur

Hammer, once the top-ranked amateur in the world, is now No. 26 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. The South Beach win is sure to help his ranking, and his Walker Cup chances. The 21-year-old played on the victorious U.S. team in 2019. He arrived at the South Beach International Amateur directly from a 16-man Walker Cup practice session.

U.S. captain Nathaniel Crosby followed him, and was there when Hammer wrapped up victory on Tuesday.

Western Carolina’s Pierre Viallaneix, from France, took second place after a 1-under 71 to finish at 11 under. He was two shots ahead of Coastal Carolina’s Zach Taylor and Duke commit Kelly Chinn. All three started the day at 10 under with Viallaneix picking up a stroke to par and Taylor and Chinn dropping a stroke.

original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2020/12/22/cole-hammer-wins-south-beach-international-amateur/

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