15-year-old golfer qualifies for US Open
A 15-year-old in America is set to compete for the US Open title later this month.
Cole Hammer, who lives in Houston, Texas, will become the third-youngest golfer to play in the event, which is due to run from 18th to 21st June at Chambers Bay.
Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, who have both tasted great success from an early age, may need to start looking over their shoulder.
“I never dreamed I could do it,” said Hammer, following his qualification in Texas.
“This means the world to me. When I saw Jordan Spieth win the Masters, I said: 'I can do this.'”
China’s Andy Zhang remains the youngest-ever player to participate in a US Open at the tender age of just 14 back in 2002 – when he missed the cut at Olympic Club.
Could Hammer, at 15 years and 10 months, do better? He is five months older than Hawaii’s Tadd Fujikawa was when missed the cut at Winged Foot in 2006.
However, Hammer does dethrone fellow American Tyrell Garth Jr, who was three days short of his 16th birthday when he played in 1941 to much fanfare.
So how does this latest young golfer find himself playing shoulder to shoulder with the world's best on the big stage? Having come through qualifying at Deerwood, Hammer finished second at Northwood to secure a place in the 156-strong field assembled for the US Open, won by Martin Kaymer in 2014.
“I've never been to a US Open before, I was just hoping to make the US Junior later this summer,” said Hammer.
“We didn't have any plans for that weekend, but I guess we do now.”
Hammer will also be caddied by his father, who has been a great supporter of his son and his dreams of achieving a place at the US Open.
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