Kramer Hickok wins the Ontario Championship

A second straight 8-under par 64 from Kramer Hickok in the final round of the Ontario Championship, got him into a playoff with California’s Johnny Ruiz, to see who would claim this title on the MacKenzie Tour – PGA Tour Canada.

After four playoff holes, Hickok had a five-foot birdie putt to win, which he held. This granted him his second MacKenzie Tour – PGA Tour Canada victory of the season. This has guaranteed him a spot in The Five, along with Web.com Tour status for 2018.

It has been a great couple of events for Hickok over the last few weeks, as he finished second in his two previous starts at the National Capital Open to Support our Troops and the Cape Breton Open. “It’s a step in the right direction and it’s not another second place, so I’m happy about that.”

Hickok needed a quick start as he was eight strokes off the lead which was held by Ruiz. Three straight birdies narrowed the gap and then between holes 8 – 11, Kramer racked up another four straight birdies – this got him within two of Ruiz’s lead.

2 under par for his last 5 holes, Hickok posted the clubhouse lead on 19 under par and headed straight to the range to warm up for a playoff, if there was to be one.

Then came a playoff and both Hickok and Ruiz posted pars on 18, 18 and 9. Then on the fourth playoff hole, Hickok produced a beautiful 9-iron for 143 yards, which landed 5 feet from the pin.

“It’s unbelievable. This course yielded some of the best players all year. Heading into today, I was in seventh place but looking in front of me, there were four guys that could jump me in The Five. I think that’s what good courses do – they bring out the best players,” said Hickok, reflecting on what has been an incredible year that still has one goal left to be achieved: the Order of Merit title next week.

“I’ve had three seconds and two wins, and it’s not even guaranteed. These guys are just that good. If you’re not playing well, someone else is, and they’re going to jump you. I know the purse is bigger next week, so I’ve gotta go out there and do it again,” said Hickok.

This is Kramer’s first season on the MacKenzie Tour and his wins at the Ontario Championship and the Players Cup, as well as runner-up finishes at the Staal Foundation Open, The National Capital Open and the Cape Breton Open have cemented his place atop the Order of Merit rankings.

This win makes Hickok only the second player during the PGA Tour era on the MacKenzie Tour, to surpass $100,000 in earnings for one season.

Congratulations on yet another win Kramer – we are all so happy for you!

Hambric Welcomes John Oda

Hambric Sports is proud to welcome First Team All-American John Oda to the HSM family, as he announces his decision to turn professional. This comes after a stellar collegiate career at UNLV, which saw him register four individual titles and All-American honours, in each of his three seasons.

The Honolulu native posted the second-best career scoring average in UNLV history, surpassing marks set by Adam Scott & Charley Hoffman, while trailing only the career stroke average of Ryan Moore. Perhaps the most pedigreed amateur to come from the Hawaiian Islands, Oda twice qualified for the Sony Open in Hawaii, including 2012, where he competed as a 15-year old.

A medalist at this year’s U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying, John tested his game under major championship conditions at Erin Hills, before embarking on a busy amateur schedule. This was highlighted by ties for 4th and 6th place at the Sahalee Players Championship and Pacific Coast Amateur respectively. Oda capped off his amateur career, by reaching third round of matchplay at the U.S. Amateur, in Riviera Country Club, before turning professional. He was beaten by eventual winner Doc Redman.

John will shift his focus to Web.com Tour Qualifying as he begins his professional career. He is signed up for First Stage at The
Crosby, in San Diego, which takes place from October 3rd – 6th.

Oda will be managed by Walker Huddy.

With offices in Dallas, Los Angeles & Dublin, Hambric Sports specializes in the management of professional golfers, and markets its clients on a global basis. This includes seeking and negotiating income-producing opportunities within the golf industry and corporate world. In addition to Oda, the list of clients includes Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Thorbjørn Olesen, Martin Laird, Ricardo Gouveia, Cody Gribble, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and rising star Beau Hossler.

Hossler earns PGA TOUR card

He may have started the season with no status on the Web.com Tour, but Beau Hossler has finished in 23rd spot on the money list to earn himself a PGA TOUR card for next season.

Beau ended up having 11 starts and two of these included second-place finishes at the Air Capital Classic and the LECOM Health Challenge.

His solo second finish at the Air Capital Classic secured him special temporary membership, which allowed him more starts on the tour.

In the final event of the Web.com Tour season, at the Portland Open, Beau shot a final round 68 (three-under), to finish in a tie for 19th, which locked up 23rd spot on the money list.

“It’s amazing to go from a Monday qualifier in Wichita to getting my card here three months later.” said Hossler.

Congratulations Beau on a fantastic achievement – this is only the beginning!

Dustin Johnson wins The Northern Trust

At the opening leg of the FedExCup Playoffs, Dustin Johnson overcame a five-shot lead held by Jordan Spieth, to claim victory at The Northern Trust. 

A battle along the back nine with big shots and big moments, Johnson and Spieth were tied on the par-3 17th when both hit into a bunker. Dustin blasted out to 4 feet and tapped in for par. Spieth had 18 feet for par and knocked it in. 

Now it was down to the 18th hole. Spieth’s drive found the fairway. Dustin, meanwhile, hit his drive slightly right and had 210 yards to the hole from the right rough. He opted to lay up, instead of trying to hammer a shot to an elevated green. 

“What am I doing?” he said, adding, “I hit myself in the worst possible spot that I could. Even if I aim left and cut it and it goes in the bunker, a much better position than I am in the right rough with 210 yards to the hole. I mean, I’ve got no chance. I just couldn’t get to the green with the lie I had.”

 Needing to hole a 25 foot downhill putt to force a playoff, as Spieth had 3 feet for par, he did so with a perfectly measured putt. 

They both finished at 13 under par, with Dustin shooting a final round 66 (4 under). 

Returning to the 18th hole for the playoff, Johnson took on the lake and bombed a 341-yard tee-shot, the longest of the week on that hole, that left him with just a lob wedge to the pin. Spieth hit his 7 iron to the back collar of the green and missed 25-footot birdie putt. Johnson had 4 feet for the win, and calmly rolled it in for the victory. 

“I feel like the game is finally back in form like it was before the Masters. We were having fun,” said Johnson, the new FedExCup leader. 

“Obviously I had a little bit more fun at the end of the day after I won the playoff.”

Congratulations Dustin on your fourth win of the year – phenomenal golf! 

Sjöholm claims victory at the Italian Challenge

After 9 years of hard work, patience and persistence, Joel Sjoholm has claimed his maiden professional victory at the Italian Challenge in Sardinia on the Challenge Tour.

Having carded a final round 65, Sjoholm came from two strokes behind overnight, to win by 4.

Four birdies on the opening nine helped him to take the lead at Is Molas, and he never looked back.

“It feels amazing,” he said. “I never thought when I was ten years old that I would have to wait until I was 32 before I earned my first victory as a professional.

“It is close to being the best thing that has ever happened to me. Obviously having children and getting married will always be the most special thing, but this is pretty incredible.

“I shouldn’t really be standing here. I was playing on an invite this week, and I have to thank Alain, the Challenge Tour Director, and my management for getting me into the tournament.

“I only got here on Wednesday, I missed my flight on Monday, and I was a little bit worried about not being able to play the golf course – but this week I just putted really well and that was the difference.”

This victory has catapulted Joel up the Road to Oman rankings from 98th to 5th.

Congratulations to Joel on his maiden professional victory. It shows that your hardwork and determination over the last 9 years has paid off.

Canter and Laird secure spots at The 146th Open Championship

Well done to both Laurie Canter and Martin Laird on securing spots into the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale later this month.

Canter secured his tee-time after a thrilling play-off on Tuesday at Final Qualifying against two other players at Notts Hollinwell Golf Course.

“Obviously it will be a great week, I’m just excited to get going,” said Canter, who is in his second full year on the European Tour.

“Tuesday was a fairly long day and I’m having a bit of a come down, but the prospect of playing at the Open will be brilliant. I’m definitely playing the most consistent golf I have ever played in my life, I’ve got some really good people around me now,”

Laurie shot a bogey free 67 in the morning and followed it up with a 2 under 70, to see him finish the day on -7 – good enough for a tie for third with two others.

In the first sudden death hole against Italian Stefano Mazzoli and Englishman Rhys Nevin-Wharton, Canter holed a nervy 10ft to avoid elimination.

Mazzoli was knocked out of contention at the second and a third par on the trot was enough for Canter to see off Nevin-Wharton after they teed it up for a third time.

Scotland’s Martin Laird earned his place at The Open by finishing tied for third at the Quicken Loans National in Maryland.

He shot a final round 67 (three under par), to end the event on five under.

“Anytime you can play in an Open, that’s my favourite tournament of the year,” said Laird.

“To have the chance to play it anytime is special. I’ve heard great things about Birkdale.”

Not only has Martin qualified for The Open, but he is also back in the world’s top 100 (87th) for the first time in more than three years, which shows the great golf that he is playing at the moment.

Martin and Laurie will join Dustin, Brooks and Thorbjorn who have already qualified for The Open Championship. What a great week at Royal Birkdale it is going to be!

Danielle Kang wins KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

Danielle Kang birdied her 72nd hole to win the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship on Sunday, for her first LPGA Tour title. The 24-year-old closed with a four-under 68 to finish at 13-under 271 at Illinois’ Olympia Fields.

Kang bogeyed the tricky par-three 17th, which brought her back into a tie for the lead with defending champion, Brooke Henderson. But she responded with two fantastic shots to get to the green in two at 18, which set her up with a putt for eagle.

With two putts for victory, Danielle rolled her eagle putt up to 2 feet and held the birdie putt to claim victory by one shot.

“I just told myself it was my week. It was my day,” Kang said.

“The three-putt on No. 10 was the turning point for me,” Kang said about a missed 3 footer. “I said I’m going to learn from that and then I made four birdies in a row. Having a major championship in my resume, I don’t know what it will do,” Kang said.

Holing putts from 9, 20, 30 and 8 feet on holes 11 – 14 had Danielle go from trailing by one shot, to leading by three. On the 16th hole, she made a 21 foot putt for a crucial par.

Danielle’s first victory came at her 144th LPGA start and was a very popular one amongst athletes all around the world.

Michelle Wie, one of Kang’s closest friends on tour, followed her around right after the victory. Dustin Johnson texted “That’s how you’re supposed to play, congrats,” and Wayne Gretzky and Caitlyn Jenner — two buddies from her days at Sherwood Country Club in California also reached out.

Danielle’s late father, K.S, caddied for her when she won the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 2010 and 2011. She keeps a journal where she writes messages to her father. Her mother, Grace Lee, was one of the first people to congratulate her and she also Facetimed with her brother Alex, who plays on the Web.com Tour.

“If I could wish anything, I would wish that my Dad saw me win,” said Kang, wiping tears from her eyes. “I think that it’s been a really difficult road for me the past four or five years. It’s life though, you pick yourself up and you have to keep working hard at it, and then believe in what you’re doing, and not letting yourself down.”

Congratulations on your maiden victory Danielle. We all knew that it was coming and could not be any prouder of you!

Brooks Koepka captures his maiden major title at the US Open

It was a Sunday evening to remember at the 117th US Open Championship as Brooks Koepka broke away from a chasing pack with three straight birdies on the back nine, to close with a 5-under par 67, to win his first major championship.

No one was more solid from start to finish than Brooks. He opened with a pair of tap-in birdies and putted for birdie on every hole but the par 3 13th. Of all his birdies, an 8 foot par putt on the 13th hole might have been as big as any. This gave him the confidence and momentum to slot in birdies on the next three holes.

“I think that was kind of the changing point of the round for me. I needed something to go in and see that to build momentum off it, and I just carried that over,” Koepka said.

A par on the final hole tied the US Open record score to par at 16 under for a four-shot victory. He became the seventh straight first-time winner of a major championship, and it was the first time since 1998-2000 that Americans have won their national championship three straight years.

“What I’ve done this week is amazing,” said Koepka.

Brooks’ reaction was low-key, just like that of his close friend and last year’s U.S. Open champion, Dustin Johnson. They spend quite a lot of time together both on and off the course, so Koepka has seen that U.S. Open trophy plenty.

When asked about what had been going on inside his head for the closing round at Erin Hills, Brooks said that he was “just staying in the present and thinking about one shot at a time’’.

“Dustin actually called me last night and told me the same thing, just stay patient. Just keep doing what you’re doing, you’re going to win the thing, and just don’t get ahead of yourself. A bunch of people told me that”, Koepka said.

Sunday capped off quite a journey for the 27-year-old Floridian. Without a card on any tour when Koepka got out of Florida State, he travelled far and wide to places such as Kazakhstan, Kenya, India and the rest of Europe, competing on the European Challenge Tour.

It was on the Challenge Tour that Brooks claimed his maiden professional victory, at the Challenge de Catalunya in 2012. This was followed up by 3 more wins the next season at the Montecchia Golf Open, Fred Olsen Challenge de España and the Scottish Hydro Challenge. These 3 wins granted Brooks a European Tour card for the 2013/2014 season.

In 2014, Brooks claimed victory at the Turkish Airlines Open on the European Tour by 1 stroke over Ian Poulter. This victory along with third places finishes at the Dubai Desert Classic and the Omega European Masters saw him finish 8th in the Race to Dubai rankings and be named the European Tour’s Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year.

He then went on to win on the PGA Tour, this time at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in 2015. This hoisted Koepka up to 19th in the Official World Golf Rankings.

Another win came for Brooks at the 2016 Dunlop Phoenix Tournament in Japan, which showed how much of a world class player he is.

Brooks’ worldwide golfing odyssey over the last few years has culminated in this US Open Victory and we could not be any prouder of him!

Stalter and Laird qualify for US Open at Erin Hills

Frenchman Joël Stalter has secured a place at this week’s US Open after coming through an international sectional qualifier in Walton Heath, on Monday 29th May.

The 24-year-old finished the 36 holes of qualifying on 11 under par, to secure a T5 finish. He had a first round of 68, followed up by a flawless 65 to secure a spot at his maiden major.

Martin Laird became the third Scot to qualify after coming through a 120 man field in Ohio Colombus. He shot a pair of 67’s at Brookside and Lakes courses to finish his on 10 under par. This was enough to give him a T4 finish, just two behind leading qualifier, JT Poston.

“It was pretty windy but shooting five-under on my front nine meant I was taking less risks on the back nine as I knew 10-under was probably pretty good,” said Laird.

Joël and Martin will join Brooks Koepka and defending champion and World Number 1, Dustin Johnson at Erin Hills to compete on this tough track.

 

Olesen & Bjerregaard claim victory at the inaugural GolfSixes

It was another successful team event for Denmark’s Thorbjørn Olesen, this time teaming up with Lucas Bjerregaard and claiming victory at the first ever GolfSixes event on the European Tour.

Denmark had finished second in Group A on Saturday, with them then coming out victors against France and Italy in the quarter and semi-final matches.

It was a tight final match with a birdie on the third hole, giving Australia a 1-0 lead. But it was no surprise when Denmark came back and won the final three holes to be crowned the inaugural GolfSixes champions, with a 3-1 win over Australia.

“It’s gone pretty well for me in team events recently,” added Olesen. “I don’t know if I’m a lucky charm. I feel like I’ve had good partners, as well.”

“I was hoping for a win but Lucas played great, especially these last six holes. I was struggling a little bit.

“It’s been fantastic. Team Denmark has got a lot of support, so we’re really happy with that.”

“It’s been a very intense couple of days. Feels like you’ve played 72 holes or even more. Six holes, it’s very intense match play, playing only six holes and every shot really counts.”

Congratulations to Thorbjørn and Lucas on their fantastic win!

Team Portugal

Portugal’s Ricardo Gouveia and José-Filipe Lima cruised into the knockout stages of the GolfSixes with another dominant win in the second round of matches at the Centurion Club.

They had made five birdies in a 4-0 win over Wales in the first round of matches and made three more in another 4-0 victory over Australia to guarantee progression from Group C.

Unfortunately, they were beaten by Scotland at the quarter-final stages, 3-0, after the Scotsmen made two birdies and an eagle to claim victory and progress to the semi-finals.

It was a fantastic weekend for Ricardo and José and they both go on to play in their home open this week, at the Open de Portugal.