Cole Hammer, Garrett Barber win US Amateur 4-Ball
TEQUESTA, Fla. (AP) High school seniors Cole Hammer and Garrett Barber won the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship on Wednesday, beating Marc Dull and Chip Brooke 4 and 3 at Jupiter Hills.
The 18-year-old Hammer, from Houston, is set to play at Texas next fall. Barber, from Stuart, Florida, also is 18. He’s headed to LSU.
”Growing up watching U.S. Opens and U.S. Amateurs on TV, I just knew being a USGA champion is something that I desperately wanted,” said Hammer, who qualified for a U.S. Open three years ago at 15. ”And to finally do it, it feels incredible. It feels as good, if not better, than I thought it would. And especially being able to do it with Garrett. It’s really cool to share this moment.”
Hammer and Cole won the par-4 eighth with a birdie to take a 2-up lead. They took the par-4 10th with a par, won the par-5 13th with an eagle – Barber hit a 4-iron from 235 yards to 3 feet – and havled the next two holes to end the match.
”Cole didn’t want me to hit 4-iron,” Barber said. ”He didn’t think I could get it there. I was like, `I got it.’ So I hit it hard, hit pretty much a perfect shot. It was a crazy shot.”
The 32-year-old Dull is from Winter Park, Florida, and the 42-year-old Brooke from Altamonte Springs, Florida.
”Cole Hammer is a special player,” Brooke said. ”Obviously, he’s going to Texas (and) I’m not saying he is Jordan Spieth, but there are certain things that he does.”
In the morning semifinals, Hammer and Barber beat Idaho high school teammates Carson Barry and Sam Tidd 5 and 4, and Brooke and Dull topped former Seattle University teammates Kyle Cornett and Patrick Sato 4 and 3.