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.

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!

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 claims maiden major at the US Open

Congratulations to Dustin Johnson on his maiden major victory at this years US Open at Oakmont.

At long last, Dustin Johnson’s moment had arrived. He had endured all forms of heartache on the last days of major championships.

Johnson can barely have imagined the claiming of his maiden major championship would arrive with such a swell of neutral support. Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and thousands of Oakmont fans were vocal in their delight after Johnson recovered from a sensational rules controversy to end his major drought.

Dustin, who was in pole position to claim his first major title, immediately called a rules official on the 5th green as his ball appeared to move. Johnson would be liable for a penalty, were he deemed to have caused the ball position to change. The golfer was adamant that did not happen, as was his playing partner, Lee Westwood.

While the official seemed content there was no case to answer, Johnson was approached on the 12th tee when leading the tournament. A rules official at that juncture told the 31-year-old that the incident would be reassessed when Johnson completed his round, much to widespread consternation.

With the Oakmont Country Club gallery chanting, “DJ! DJ! DJ!” Johnson ripped his drive down the middle of the fairway on No. 18. When a fan yelled during his address of his approach shot, he backed off, gathered himself and hit his iron shot to four feet, all but locking up the U.S. Open title. As Johnson holed out for a birdie on the last to finish 5 under par for the tournament, thereby holding a four-shot lead, he knew even the rules could not defeat him this time.

Well done DJ, everybody here at Hambric Sports is delighted about your maiden major and know that many more are to come!