Lee finishes best of the Aussies at Western Amateur

Min Woo Lee finished the best of the Australians at the Western Amateur played at Sunset Ridge Country Club north of Chicago. Lee progressed for the second time in two years to the ‘sweet 16′ of the championship proper.

Lee was also our top qualifier from the four round stroke finishing at 5-under-par for share of 5th position with Victorian Michel Kyle and Queensland’s Shae Wools-Cobb also progressing to the match play segment.

Min Woo Lee Min Woo Lee (Credit: Western Amateur)

The 36 hole cut saw Zach Murray narrowly missing along with Matias Sanchez, Karl Villips, Jediah Morgan, Nathan Barbieri, Charlie Dann, Blake Windred and Haydn Barron.

Texan Cole Hammer defeated fellow American Davis Riley, 1-up, to win the championship title.

After the first nine holes, it looked as though the final match would be drama-free.

An eagle putt on the par-5 seventh and a birdie on the par-4 ninth helped boost Hammer to a 4-up advantage with nine holes to play. But Riley came back with four birdies over seven holes to trail by one with two holes to play. Both players made par on the 17th hole, then Hammer won when Riley missed a birdie putt at the 18th.

Hammer is the sixth 18-year-old to win the Western Amateur, a list that includes Tiger Woods (1994). Hammer also is the second consecutive player to be named a medallist for the lowest stroke-play score, then go on to win the match-play portion of the tournament. On the way to taking medallist honours, Hammer shot a course record 61 in the third round.

Hammer first made a name for himself in golf when he qualified for the 2015 US Open as a 15-year-old. And since then he has kept up that great form with a victory alongside Garrett Barber at the US Amateur Four-Ball in May.

The incoming Texas freshman makes this the second Western Am win for a Longhorn player in five years, as Beau Hossler captured the title in 2014.

Hammer also is the sixth golfer with Texas Longhorn connections to win the Western Amateur, joining Rik Massengale (1968) Ben Crenshaw (1973), Justin Leonard (1992, 1993), John Klauk (2002) and Beau Hossler (2015).