Loar Conquers Q-School; Fernandez-Castano, Oda & Yang Secure Conditional Privileges for 2018

At the Web.com Tour Finals, Edward Loar fired a Sunday 66, on The Cattail Course to rocket 17 places up the leaderboard and secure one of 45 guaranteed Web.com Tour spots up for grabs, for premier developmental Tour in 2018.  With his -15 (282) total, Loar, already a two-time winner on the Web.com Tour, will start his 2018 Web campaign in mid-January in the Bahamas.

With his -15 (282) total, Loar, already a two-time winner on the Web.com Tour, will start his 2018 Web campaign in mid-January in the Bahamas.

 Hambric clients Gonzalo Fernandez Castano, John Oda & Gunn Yang finished the week with totals of -10 (278), -9 (279) and -6 (282) respectively. Fernandez-Castano, Yang and Oda all earned Conditional Status on the 2018 Web.com Tour and will have their 2018 schedules come into clearer focus as the new year approaches.

Fernandez-Castano, a seven-time winner on the European Tour, will have the ability to build his 2018 schedule on both sides of the Atlantic, having secured European Tour playing privileges by virtue of a 13th place finish at European Q-School in November.

Congratulations to Big Ed on an outstanding weekend and to GFC, John and Gunn, we look forward to celebrating your achievements in 2018.

Koepka dominates field at Dunlop Phoenix to successfully defend his title

Brooks Koepka successfully defended his title at the Dunlop Phoenix, one of the premier events on the Japan Golf Tour, with a tournament record 9-shot victory over a deep international field featuring World #5 Hideki Matsuyama and PGA Tour Rookie of the Year and winner of the Tour Championship, Xander Schauffele.

Koepka’s resounding victory was punctuated by an eagle on the par-5 18th hole at the Phoenix Country Club, as he posted a four-round total of 20-under par (65-68-64-67). Brooks joins Tiger Woods and Luke Donald as the only repeat winners of the event since the turn of the century and his 264 stroke total was second only to his own tournament record of 263 (21 under par) set in 2016.

With the victory, Koepka will move up 3 spots in the Official World Golf Ranking to #7. Brooks will look to continue his winning ways against a 15 of the world’s other top players at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas from November 30th – December 3rd.

Canter and Castaño secure European Tour cards for 2018

Congratulations to both Laurie Canter and Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño who have secured their 2018 European Tour cards through Q-School this week at Lumine Golf Club in Spain.

Both finished the gruelling six round test in a tie for 12th on 16 under par. With the leaderboard extremely tight going into the final round, there was little room for error, but experience shun through from the pair as Gonzalo shot a final round 68 (-3) and Laurie a 69 (-2), to wrap up their cards with three shots to spare.

At the halfway stage, Canter led by 1 shot on -13, thanks to a bogey free 67 (-5). This was following on from an impressive second round 64 (-7), that included 9 birdies. From the halfway stage onwards, Laurie’s rounds of 75, 66 and 69, with a birdie on his final hole, were enough to secure his European Tour card for the third year in a row at Qualifying School.

Spanish favourite Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño secured his return to the European Tour, shooting rounds of 72, 70, 69, 68, 65 and a final round of 68. A big move in his penultimate round, with a 65 (-6), catapulted Castaño up the leaderboard to tied 10th.

“I am feeling extremely relaxed. Last time I played at Q-School was in 2004 where it very much felt like a case of all or nothing,” said Castaño.

A solid, bogey-free final round of 69 (-3) guaranteed the Spaniard his 2018 European Tour card walking off the 18th green.

Speaking to the press after a successful tournament, Gonzalo said, “It’s been a long week and I’m a little tired but it’s been an interesting day. I’ve been super relaxed all week long but today I could feel that tiredness, but I managed to hang in there and I guess experience was a key factor.”

“Having Alvaro, my friend, on the bag helped a lot and we did it, so it’s been an amazing week. Believe it or not, I was a little nervous today and it’s good to have those butterflies again because it’s been a long time.”

“My only goal now is to win another European Tour event so that I can be one ahead of Alvaro!”

We wish both Laurie and Gonzalo every success next season on the European Tour.

Oda Dazzles in PGA Tour Pro Debut; Hossler Continues Impressive Fall Play at Mayakoba

John Oda made the most of his first PGA Tour start as a professional, with an outstanding 8th place finish at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.

Despite receiving a sponsor’s invite on the eve of tournament week, Oda navigated El Cameleon’s narrow fairways, driving rain showers and gusty winds to lead the field in Driving Accuracy en route to rounds of 68-65-69-70 and a 12-under par total.

John’s second round 65, featured 8 birdies and 2 bogeys and matched the low second round of the week. This stellar round positioned him in the penultimate group for both his third and final rounds, playing directly in front of eventual tournament winner Patton Kizzire and runner-up Rickie Fowler.

Oda’s top-10 finish gained him entry into this week’s RSM Classic in Sea Island, Georgia where he will join fellow Hambric clients Beau Hossler and Martin Flores, competing in the final full-field PGA Tour event of the 2017 calendar year, before shifting his focus back to Final Stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

Hossler, a 2017 graduate of the Web.com Tour, continued his solid PGA Tour rookie campaign with a tie for 34th place at Mayakoba, his 4th consecutive made cut to start his own Tour career, thus far highlighted by ties for 10th at the Sanderson Farms Championship and 7th at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Oda and Yang Flourish at Web.com Tour Q-School

Rising stars John Oda and Gunn Yang advanced through Second Stage of Web.com Tour Qualifying School with T-2 and T-11 finishes respectively at Bear Creek Golf Club in Murrieta, CA.

Oda’s week was highlighted by a final round 7-under par 65 that featured 8 birdies and just a single bogey. Yang held steady throughout the week despite the intense pressure of Q-School to finish his final round with a bogey-free back nine with a trip to Final Stage hanging in the balance.

Oda, a 2017 First Team All American at UNLV claimed medalist honors at First Stage of Web.com Tour Q-School highlighted by a third round 62 at The Crosby, located near San Diego last month.

Yang, the 2014 US Amateur Champion has seen a recent resurgence in his game after spending the 2017 season overseas on the European Challenge Tour. Yang also advanced through the First Stage qualifier held at The Crosby in October.

With their finishes at Bear Creek, both Oda and Yang have secured conditional status on the Web.com Tour for the 2018 season. They’ll look to secure full status with another strong performance at the Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Arizona where the Web.com Q-School Finals will take place from December 7th – 10th .

Next up for Oda is this week’s OHL Classic at Mayakoba where his recent strong play earned him a sponsor’s invite. Yang will spend the next several weeks readying his game for Final Stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

Congrats to Gunn & John for their achievements thus far!

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.