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From playing for their country to playing for themselves, Walker Cup trio at Byron Nelson

Fresh off a Walker Cup triumph, a trio of U.S. gamers competed individually within the opening spherical of the AT&T Byron Nelson.

Cole Hammer, Pierceson Coody and Tyler Strafaci are within the area this week at TPC Craig Ranch. Hammer and Coody, a pair of Texas Longhorn teammates, are preparing for NCAA regionals, whereas Strafaci, a former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket, is making his skilled debut.

The three helped the U.S. to its third consecutive Walker Cup victory final week at Seminole Golf Club in South Florida. Thursday exterior of Dallas, Texas, the course, the setup and reception had been all very totally different.

“I must have heard ‘hook ’em’ 50 times today,” stated Hammer, a Texas junior.

“Seminole, we were hardly making any birdies and we were grinding for pars and we had a partner. Just a totally different kind of golf.

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“You come out here and [the] course is playing long, but the greens are perfect so guys are making a ton of putts. Felt like I kind of had to press a little bit early on and I was missing some putts, and kind of settled in on the back nine and I was able to finish strong.”

Hammer had the low spherical of the day amongst his Walker Cup teammates, taking pictures 4-under 68. Beginning on the again 9, he parred his first seven holes earlier than making back-to-back birdies by the flip.

He double-bogeyed the par-4 third, nevertheless, to drop to even par, solely to birdie his last 4 holes to shut his spherical.

Coody, additionally a junior in Austin, was making his PGA Tour debut on Thursday, although nonetheless as an beginner. He managed a few eagles on the par 5s, but additionally had 4 bogeys, one double and no birdies for a 2-over 74.

“I didn’t quite have the game I wanted to. Drove it really well. Everything was quite a bit off, to say the least,” he stated.

“But first Tour start was still fun. I still enjoyed being all there with all my friends and family here, so overall still a good experience and just see what happens tomorrow.”

Hammer and Coody will return to staff mode subsequent week as Texas competes in NCAA regionals in Indiana.

Strafaci, nevertheless, will likely be plotting his subsequent transfer as a professional.

The reigning U.S. Amateur champion struggled by way of a abdomen virus at Seminole, shedding 20 kilos, and was solely ready to play on the ultimate day of competitors. He stayed an beginner so as to compete within the Walker Cup after which turned skilled, making his debut this week.

It was a stable starting, with 4 birdies and two bogeys. But his 2-under 70 has him beneath the projected lower line on Day 1.

“I felt good. I had a good warmup. I just got out there and I couldn’t draw it [the] first five holes. I was kind of hitting a weak right shot,” he stated. “Just kind of started playing with a cut and made a couple birdies on the front, and actually hit it really well on the backside.” 

“So all in all, I fought pretty hard and I think I’m still in a decent spot with how I started.”

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