Cole Hammer wins opening match in US Junior Amateur

BLUFFTON, S.C. (AP) Cole Hammer advanced in the U.S. Junior Amateur on Wednesday before darkness forced the suspension of first-round play.

Hammer, the 15-year-old from Houston who played in the U.S. Open last month, beat David Snyder of McAllen, Texas, 2 and 1 at Colleton River Plantation Club's Pete Dye Course.

Hammer won the par-3 13th and par-4 14th with birdies and halved the next three holes to wrap up the match before rain and lightning delayed play for 2 hours, 45 minutes.

''It is a completely different animal,'' said Hammer, playing his fourth career match-play event. ''Anything can happen in match play. You just have to stay focused and stay patient.''

Stroke-play medalist Brandon Mancheno of Jacksonville, Florida, had a 2-up lead over Jack Li of China after 14 holes. The 15-year-old Mancheno completed a 69 in the morning in the delayed second round of stroke-play qualifying.

''I've had the mindset going into match play that you are still trying to shoot a low score,'' Mancheno said. ''I am more worried about myself because if you shoot 68 or 69 they are probably not going to beat you.''

Only 12 of the 32 matches were completed.

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