DALLAS – Cole Hammer sits atop the World Amateur Golf Rankings as the new World No. 1. He takes over the top spot after a fourth-place finish at the Northeast Amateur Invitational.

The rising sophomore at the University of Texas just capped off his freshman season winning three individual tournaments, including the NCAA Austin Regional. The summer prior to arriving at the 40 acres, Hammer won the 2018 Western Amateur and was a semifinalist at the 2018 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

But, his rise to the top of the WAGR began many years ago as a junior golfer in Texas.

Hammer was 13 years old when he won his first Legends Junior Tour event. The wide-eyed seventh grader with braces hoisted the trophy at the 2013 Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic, the 2013 Winter Classic, the 2013 Spring Preview and the 2013 Flodder Financial Shootout. The young golfer from Houston became a recognizable name across the state of Texas. He had won four out of five Legends Junior Tour starts, finishing no worse than solo fourth.

Later that summer, Hammer caught the eye of the University of Texas coaching staff. He was playing in the 2013 George Hannon Junior Invitational at the Longhorns’ home course, UT Golf Club. Hammer didn’t turn heads with simply winning the tournament, but more so in the fashion it was done.

He holed out for eagle from 159 yards on his final hole to shoot 7-under 64, seven shots clear of the field. It was his fifth Legends Junior Tour victory of the season, and he was the unquestionable 2013 LJT Boys 14 & Under Player of the Year.

“I remember at the George Hannon I was being watched by the Texas coaches and I was a little nervous,” Hammer said. “Now, every time I play 18 there (UT Golf Club) I think of holing out and one of my favorite memories of my career.”

Following a few visits back to UT Golf Club, Hammer committed to the University of Texas later that fall at the age of 13. He continued his success on the Legends Junior Tour the next two seasons.  

In 2014 and 2015, Hammer added seven more top-10s to his resume with wins at the 2015 Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic and 2015 Bluebonnet Championship. With a total of seven Legends Junior Tour victories, Hammer is tied third all-time with PGA Tour winner and Major Champion Jordan Spieth.

“Legends Junior Tour events were the highlight of my junior career,” Hammer said. “I learned something about my game every time I played, and they were the kickstart to my career.”

Hammer has had plenty of success in USGA events as well. He qualified for the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay at the age of 15 and won the 2018 U.S. Four-Ball at Jupiter Hills with Garrett Barber.

The Legends Junior Tour alumnus is schedule to defend at the 2019 Western Amateur at Point O’Woods Golf & Country Club as well as compete in the 2019 U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club later this summer.

For more information on the Legends Junior Tour, click here