Rising high school sophomore qualifies for U.S. Open
Cole Hammer wanted to measure his game at a U.S. Open qualifier. Now the 15-year-old from Houston gets to face Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth.
Hammer, who just finished his freshman year at Kincaid High School, opened with a string of birdies on his way to a 64. He backed that up with a round of 68 at Northwood Club in Dallas, closing with two straight birdies to leave no doubt he would be headed to Chambers Bay next week for the U.S. Open.
"My main goal was to see how I match up against these people," said Hammer, who is 5-foot-9 and weighs 125 pounds. "I just had to keep doing what I was doing. This means the world to me."
Hammer won't be the youngest player in U.S. Open history. Andy Zhang was 14 at Olympic Club in 2012 when he got in as an alternate.
Even so, Hammer played older than his age against a sectional site that included college players and some PGA Tour players. Among those who missed by one shot were Steve Marino, Peter Malnati and Rod Pampling, who made double bogey on his final hole to miss out on the U.S. Open.
Hammer had never won any of the top junior amateur events. He came into the 36-hole qualifier after winning a local Junior PGA qualifying event last weekend. He was one shot out of the projected cut when he made bogey on No. 12, but he bounded back four birdies, including a 4-footer on the last hole.
"I didn't know where we stood until No. 17," said his father, Greg Hammer, who caddied for him. "I told him we needed one more birdie to feel good. And boy, did he do it."
The U.S. Open is June 18-21 on the public course south of Seattle.
Calls for Curry overwhelm Davidson's SID
Stephen Curry is one of the most popular players in the NBA. You don't have to remind Davidson College sports information director Joey Beeler, who has been forced to change his office phone number after being besieged in recent weeks by calls from young children wanting to meet the NBA's Most Valuable Player and his daughter Riley.
Beeler told The Associated Press he's received more than 500 phone calls over the past several months, most from pre-teens inquiring wanting to get in touch with Curry.
"It got crazy, to the point where I just couldn't get any work done," Beeler said.
After weeks spent trying to screen his calls, he finally asked the school if he could change his number.
"I couldn't take it anymore," Beeler said with a laugh. "It finally got to the point where I never knew if it was a request for Stephen or a business call."
Curry attended Davidson from 2006-2009 before turning pro after his junior season. He first received national attention when he led the underdog Wildcats to the Elite Eight as a sophomore. His popularity has grown this season after he edged out LeBron James for MVP honors and led Golden State to the NBA Finals.
Minor league baseball
Six Legends to play in SAL All-Star Game
Six Lexington Legends were selected Tuesday to play in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game later this month. First baseman Ryan O'Hearn, outfielders Elier Hernandez and Alfredo Escalera, and pitchers Zach Lovvorn, Pedro Fernandez and Matt Strahm will represent Lexington on the Southern Division roster.
The all-star game is scheduled for June 23 at McCormick Field in Asheville, N.C.
Only the league's two division leaders have more all-star selections than the Legends (25-33). The Southern Division-leading Greenville Drive have eight, and the Northern Division-front-running Hickory Crawdads have seven.
O'Hearn, who hit his league-leading 13th home run in the Legends' 3-2 loss to Lakewood on Tuesday night, will start at first base for the Southern Division team. Hernandez, who is batting .288 with four homers and 27 RBI, will start in right field.
The Drive's All-Stars include former Northern Kentucky catcher Jordan Procyshen. The Boston Red Sox prospect is batting .281 with 21 RBI.
■ Houston Astros prospect AJ Reed, a first baseman with the High-A Lancaster JetHawks, was named the California League's player of the mont for May. The former University of Kentucky star led the league in home runs (10), extra-base hits (18) and slugging percentage (.664) in May, and he was second in RBI (29) and hits (37).
■ Tates Creek graduate Trevor Gott threw two scoreless innings in Triple-A Salt Lake's 1-0 loss to Albuquerque. The Los Angeles Angels prospect hasn't given up a run in seven relief appearances since being promoted from Double-A Arkansas.
World Cup SoccerBrazil's Marta scores record 15th goal
Marta scored her 15th career women's World Cup goal to become the all-time leader in tournament history, leading Brazil to a 2-0 win over South Korea in Montreal on Tuesday.
The five-time world player of the year scored on a penalty kick in the 53rd minute to put Brazil up 2-0 and surpass the 14 goals scored by Germany's Brigit Prinz.
■ Daniela Montoya's booming goal from outside the penalty area in the 82nd minute helped Colombia recover for a 1-1 draw against Mexico in Moncton, New Brunswick.
Veronica Perez put Mexico up 1-0 in the 35th minute, turning after a corner kick and firing a right-footed shot that Colombian goalkeeper Castano Cardoso Derly Stefany was unable to keep from just crossing the line.
■ Raquel Rodriguez Cedeno's first-half goal gave Costa Rica a 1-1 draw against Spain at Montreal. Rodriguez scored in the 14th minute off a centering pass from Katherine Alvarado, one minute after Vicky Losada put Spain ahead.
■ Eugenie Le Sommer scored her first World Cup goal and France beat England 1-0 in rainy Moncton, New Brunswick. Le Sommer scored her 45th career international goal in the 29th minute. Gaetane Thiney forced a turnover by England and Le Sommer won the loose ball, took two touches and hammered in a shot from 20 yards.
■ The Americans' opener drew the largest television audience on record for a Women's World Cup group stage game. The United States' 3-1 win over Australia on Monday night averaged more than 3.3 million viewers on Fox Sports 1. The previous high was nearly 2.5 million in 1999 for the tournament in the U.S. Nielsen doesn't have data on the 1991 Women's Women Cup.
Fox said Tuesday the audience was more than triple the almost 1.1 million for the 2011 U.S. opener. That game started just before noon in the Eastern time zone with the tournament in Germany, while Monday's match from Winnipeg was in prime time.
The Stanley Cup Final Game 3, which started a half-hour later, averaged nearly 3.9 million viewers.
The last word
Dan Issel, a 6-foot-9 shortstop? The former University of Kentucky star and Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer made his first visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown on Tuesday and revealed that his childhood dream was to play shortstop for the Chicago Cubs. Issel told BaseballHall.org:
"I'm a huge baseball fan. I grew up with the Chicago Cubs, watching them almost every day, and Ernie Banks was my hero. And when I was growing up, I wanted to be the shortstop for the Chicago Cubs."