SUNDAY, MAY 06, 2007
Donnie Hammond makes debut on Champions Tour

May 6, 2007

LAKEWAY, Texas - Donnie Hammond, a JU alumnus and member of the inaugural Hall of Fame class, began a new phase of his professional golf career this weekend by making his debut on the Champions Tour at the FedEx Kinko's Classic.

Hammond tied for 55th in the tournament, carding rounds of 71, 74 and 79 to finish at seven-over par, 224. He joined an elite group by tying with Jim Colbert, Larry Nelson and Dave Stockton.

A two-time winner on the PGA Tour, Hammond gained eligibility for the over-50 circuit on April 1 but wasn't able to enter an event until this weekend's tournament.

He opened his "second" career with a one-under par 71 on The Hills Country Club. A birdie on the fifth hole put him at one-under for the front side which was followed by two birdies and two bogeys on the back side.

Hammond got off to a rough start in round two, bogeying the first hole before a birdie at the fourth got him back to even. A bogey at the ninth was compounded by bogeys on the 12th and 14th, but a birdie on the 15th rallied him to post a two-over par 74 and tie him for 28th place.

The final round was a roller coaster for the former Dolphin, opening with a birdie on the second but followed by a bogey on the fourth. Hammond bounced back with a birdie at the fifth, but a double bogey on the seventh was followed by a bogey at the eighth as he made the turn at two-over par for the round.

A tough stretch from No. 15 through 17 doomed Hammond's round, going five-over par during that stretch, to shoot a 79.