Seniors Cole Hammer of Houston, and Garrett Barber of Stuart, Florida, became the second-straight AJGA tandem to win the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship when they earned a 4&3 victory at the Jupiter Hills Club in Tequesta, Florida, on Wednesday.
Hammer, who is No. 17 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, and Barber, who is No. 7 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, were dominant throughout the tournament. In their five matches that spanned 71 holes, the pair only trailed for two holes.
This wasn’t the first time the seniors paired up in a team format, as Hammer and Barber played together in foursome action at the 2017 Junior Presidents Cup. The duo defeated Jayden Schaper of South Africa, and Karl Vilips of Australia, 3&2 en route to a United States victory.
To reach the championship round, Hammer and Barber defeated fellow AJGA members Sam Tidd of Meridian, Idaho, and Carson Barry of Eagle, Idaho. Hammer and Barber got off to a fast start in the semifinal, winning the first two holes. From there the side never looked back, defeating Tidd and Barry 5&4 to advance to the championship.
Earlier in the tournament, Tidd and Barry eliminated 2017 champions and AJGA members Frankie Capan of North Oaks, Minnesota, and Shuai Ming Wong of The Woodlands, Texas.
In the 18-hole final against Floridians Marc Dull and Chip Brooke, Hammer and Barber jumped out in front quickly by winning two of the first three holes to earn a 1-up advantage through three.
Over the next four holes, the sides played evenly, splitting each one until Hammer came through for his side on No. 8. While battling the wind and an uphill approach from 167 yards away, the University of Texas commit used a 6-iron to land within three feet of the hole before holing a birdie putt to take a 2-up advantage.
Then on the par-5 No. 13, Barber drove the final nail into his opponents’ coffin. The three-time Rolex Junior All-American struck a 4-iron from 235 yards away that landed three feet from the hole. Barber would later convert the putt for an eagle, and it gave the pair a 4-up advantage.
From there, Hammer and Barber split the final two holes with their opponents to go on to take a 4&3 victory.
In six years of AJGA competition, Hammer has earned 18 top-20 finishes, including a first-place finish at the 2015 Junior All-Star at Watters Creek. He has also competed on two Wyndham Cup West teams, a U.S. Presidents Cup team, and he was the third-youngest player to compete in the U.S. Open at 15-years-old.
Barber has has earned 13 top-20 finishes in AJGA events. He also has two career AJGA tournament titles, with his most recent being the 2017 Rolex Tournament of Champions. The LSU commit has been a part of two Wyndham Cup East teams and one U.S. Junior Presidents Cup team.