Hammer leads No. 8 Longhorns to another top-five finish

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Photo Credit: Stephanie Martinez-Arndt | Daily Texan Staff

Freshman Cole Hammer rallied back from seven shots behind the leader at the start of the final round of the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters to sneak into a sudden-death playoff with Jack Trent of UNLV.

Hammer, who led the field in par-5 scoring this week, tied his record-low round as a Longhorn with an eight-under par 64, capped off with three back-to-back birdies to tie Trent at 10-under par with an invitation to the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, a PGA Tour event, on the line. 

Hammer missed a short putt for par on the first playoff hole that would have locked up the win. As a result, the two replayed the 18th hole, where they both made birdie, forcing the playoff to continue. On the third playoff hole, Hammer pulled his approach shot left of the pin, leaving himself a very difficult putt for birdie. 

Hammer missed his next shot and Trent made his short birdie putt to clinch the individual title and the invitation to play amongst the pros in October.

Despite a close race for most of the day, Oklahoma pulled away at the end to win the team title by one shot over Texas. The teams were tied heading into the last hole of regulation, when Quade Cummins of Oklahoma clinched the mini Red River Rivalry with a birdie at the par-5 18th hole.

The top three finishers for the Longhorns were freshmen. Parker Coody played well all week, despite a triple bogey on the 12th hole in the final round that dropped him into a tie for fourth place individually. The event marks his first top-five finish and best performance in a tournament as a Longhorn. Coody’s twin brother, Pierceson, ended up in a tie for 37th place with a final round two-over par 74.

“We have an infusion of freshmen that are very accomplished,” Texas head coach John Fields said. “All three of them have tremendous experience on a national and even an international basis. I’m excited about those guys, because they bring talent, they bring enthusiasm and they bring believability with them.”

Junior Spencer Soosman and senior Steven Chervony both tied for 55th place.

The Longhorns tee it up again next week in California at the Lamkin San Diego Classic.