AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Cole Hammer, World's Top Amateur, Earns McCormack Medal August 20, 2019 | Liberty Corner, N.J. and St. Andrews, Scotland By Jeff Altstadter

USA Walker Cup competitor Cole Hammer is the 2019 McCormack Medal recipient for being No. 1 in the WAGR. (USGA/Darren Carroll)

Cole Hammer, 19, of Houston, Texas, has won the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the leading men’s player in the 2019 World Amateur Golf Ranking™ (WAGR). As the McCormack Medal recipient, Hammer earns exemptions into the 2020 U.S. Open Championship and 2020 Open Championship, conducted by The R&A, provided he remains an amateur.

Hammer, a sophomore at the University of Texas, has spent eight weeks as the world’s No. 1-ranked amateur golfer. His standout freshman year included victories at the Southern Highlands Collegiate, Lamkin Grips SD Classic and the NCAA Austin Regional. He also achieved top-five finishes in the Amer Ari Invitational, Augusta Haskins Award Invitational, ASU Thunderbird Invitational, Big 12 Championship and the Northeast Amateur. He was the recipient of the 2019 Phil Mickelson Award as college golf’s Freshman of the Year and helped Texas to a runner-up finish in the 2019 NCAA Championship.

Hammer, who made his debut in the U.S. Open in 2015 at Chambers Bay at the age of 15, was also among the finalists for the Haskins Award and Ben Hogan Award this year. 

In 2018, Hammer won the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship with partner Garrett Barber, as well as the Western Amateur and Azalea Amateur championships. He was also a semifinalist in both the U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach and U.S. Junior Amateur at Baltusrol Golf Club.

Hammer will represent the USA in the Walker Cup Match on Sept. 7-8 at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

He was previously selected to represent the USA in the World Amateur Team Championship and the Arnold Palmer Cup.

“This has been an incredible year and I am honored to be recognized with the McCormack Medal,” said Hammer. “I am grateful to everyone who has helped me get to this level and thankful for my family and friends who continue to support me.”

“Cole is a great representative of the game and the next generation of golfers who are rising through the ranks,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director of Championships. “On behalf of the USGA, I wish to extend our congratulations to him and look forward to watching him represent the USA at the upcoming Walker Cup.”

The USGA and The R&A co-award the McCormack Medal annually. It is named after Mark H. McCormack, who founded sports marketing company IMG and was a great supporter of amateur golf. On Aug. 14, Andrea Lee, 20, of Hermosa Beach, Calif., won the McCormack Medal as the leading women’s player in 2019.

Duncan Weir, executive director – Golf Development and Amateur Championships at The R&A, said, “We would like to congratulate Cole on this outstanding achievement as he follows in the footsteps of a number of notable golfers in winning this prestigious award.

“Cole has played to a high standard of golf and has recorded a series of outstanding results over this past year. He is a deserving recipient of the McCormack Medal.”

The World Amateur Golf Ranking, which is supported by Rolex, was established in 2007 when the men’s ranking was launched. The men’s ranking encompasses more than 2,700 counting events, ranking 6,200 players from 106 countries. The women’s ranking was launched in 2011 and has a calendar of more than 1,850 counting events with more than 2,850 ranked players from 78 countries.