ST. SIMONS ISLAND (Ga.) Cole HammerHe would have been happy with pars on Sea Island in the cold and wind. He was rewarded with more birdies than expected for his 8-under 64 and low score of par at the RSM Classic.
Hammer stated, It was really cool seeing the top and seeing that my last name there,
Cool was more literalized in the field. Temperatures were in the 50s, and it felt even colder when the wind blows off the ocean. This was a day to wear wool caps, long sleeves, and mittens. Low scoring was not an issue at this tournament as usual.
Hammer, who graduated in May from Texas, shared the low score of another Longhorn alum. Beau Hossler, who shot 6-under 64 at the Seaside course, which was about 2 shots harder to par.
Hossler stated, Hes making my look average, after he had finished his round. Hammer was already 8 under with three holes left.
Hammers big run was ended by a poor swing that sent him into trees just before the par-5 eighth fairway. He was penalized and ended up with a birdie.
Callum TarrenEngland also had 64 at Seaside. Ben GriffinOn the Plantation course, Griffin had a 7-under 65. Griffin had a great chance of winning in Bermuda three week ago, until he was forced to play on the rough back nine. He might win another PGA Tour event in 2022.
Hammer felt that a good start was all he needed.
He has previously been on large stages, qualifying for the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay when he was 15 years old. He did not make it to the final.
After getting out of Texas, he did well in a few Korn Ferry Tour stops. Hammer struggled with the PGA Tour, where he was frustrated by his inability to focus and became impatient. Six consecutive missed cuts was the result.
He thought he was heading for another in the Houston Open last weekend, his home tournament. He opened with a 74.
I missed my first six consecutively. Hammer said that it was a dark period. I felt that my game was close enough. I was just putting on too much pressure early in tournament. I did it in Houston again and then came out with 65 to make the cut.
That really increased my confidence.
It was carried over to RSM Classic, where Hammer was granted a sponsor exemption. Hammer is only conditionally eligible for the Korn Ferry Tour. A good week could make a big difference. Otherwise, Monday qualifies or writes for sponsor exemptions.
Hopefully, I will be able to transfer my letter-writing skills from the communications degree that was just completed in May, he stated.
He wants to see what he does over the next three day.
Hossler was another player who made his debut in the U.S. Open as a teenager. It was 10 years ago at Olympic Club. At 17 Hossler was just 4 shots behind the lead going into round 3. He shot 76 the last day and didnt even make it to the lowest amateur. Another teenager from Texas won that title. Jordan Spieth.
Hossler, who is starting his sixth PGA Tour Season, is still searching for his first win. He came close to losing to Ian PoulterAs a rookie, I was in a playoff at Houston Open.
Even more impressive than his 64 at Seaside, in the cold and wind, was his ability to keep bogeys from his card, while scrambling for four pars.
Hossler stated, Its a difficult course even with no wind or decent temperature. It was a great experience to shoot the number I did under these conditions.
Webb SimpsonOn his way to a 5-under-67, he had a hole in-one at Plantation from 219 yards. He used a 4-hybrid at Plantation. Harris EnglishPlantation opened with a 4-under par 68, a good start for an important week.
English missed five months due to hip surgery. He is No. 52 is his ranking. A big week could see him reach the top 50 for a Masters invitation.