Hammer leads Longhorns to top 10 in first spring start

Hicks Layton

Texas wrapped up its first tournament of the spring season Saturday at the Amer Ari Invitational in Hawaii. While the Longhorns’ performance was certainly worthy of an extended Hawaiian vacation, the season opener is just a small step toward the ultimate goal of a national championship.

The Longhorns finished third as a team, led by freshman Cole Hammer who finished in a tie for fourth place individually at 13-under par. Senior Steven Chervrony also posted a top 10 individual finish, coming in solo-ninth after back-to-back rounds in the 60s propelled him to 10-under par for the tournament. Freshman Parker Coody wasn’t far behind Chervrony, who came in 12th place individually at seven-under par, two shots shy of a top 10.

In round two of the tournament, the Longhorns rattled off a 23-under par 265, setting the record for the lowest team round in the program’s history. This effort was captained by Hammer, who shot an 8-under par 64, highlighted by nine birdies and only one bogey. The stellar round was good enough to vault him into the individual lead of the tournament, but a double-bogey on the 8th hole in the final round curtailed his momentum, resulting in an even par round of 72.

The incredible team feat was also assisted by junior Spencer Soosman’s five-under par 67, Chervrony’s six-under par 66, and Coody’s four-under par 68.

This tournament also marks Hammer’s best individual collegiate finish as a Longhorn. His best finish in the fall was a tie for 19th at the Nike Invitational, where he held the individual lead after two rounds, but lost control in the final round with double-bogeys on holes six and nine that took him out of contention. That tournament was a great learning experience for Hammer, who was able to put himself into the mix again at the top of the leader board this week.

“I know that he was left stinging after the Nike Invitational because he had an eight-hole stretch on the final day that knocked out his chances of winning the golf tournament,” head coach John Fields said. “If he can create opportunities like that then at some point in time, he is going to close and I think he got valuable experience because of that. So there have been some real positives.”

Texas tees it up again in the first week of March at the Southern Highlands Collegiate in Las Vegas, Nevada.