World Amateur Handicap Championship Crowns a Winner

by | Sep 4, 2019 | NEWS

3,215 Players Enjoyed Beautiful Weather, Outstanding Golf and a Banner Week

William Welch (West Islip, N.Y.) shot a net 69 to win the Flight Winners’ Playoff at the 36th Annual World Amateur Handicap Championship 8/30 at beautiful Barefoot Resort’s Dye Course. Welch bested James Juden (Lancaster, Calif.) by a shot to emerge from a field of 3,215 golfers and claim the title of World Champion. Patrick Yoe (Athens, Ga.), Michael Thompson (Columbia, S.C.) and Paul Carrier (Cumming, Ga.) finished in a three-way tie for third at 1-under par on a day when only five players broke par.

Christopher Reina (Frisco, Tex.)  shot a final-round 75 to secure a one-stroke victory over Kyle Rector (San Diego, Calif.) in the Gross Division.
Steve Humphrey (Ocala, Fla.) shot a 76 en route to an eight-stroke win in the Senior Gross Division.

Nigel Palmer (Birmingham, England) and David Palmer (Uncasville, Conn.) combined to win the Club Choice Ireland Pairs Competition, shooting a combined, net team score of 146. By virtue of winning, Nigel and David won a six-night, five-round trip to Ireland, courtesy of Club Choice Ireland.

“Congratulations to William Welch, who played great golf all week and certainly earned the title of World Champion,” Tournament Director Scott Tomasello said. “The 36th Annual World Amateur Handicap Championship enjoyed a spectacular week on and off the course, and we are already looking forward to next year’s event.”The 2020 World Am will be played Aug. 31 – Sept. 4.

A 72-hole, net stroke play event, golfers were placed into tightly grouped flights based on age, gender, and their handicap index. After 72 holes of competition, all flight winners and ties advanced to Friday’s Flight Winners’ Playoff at Barefoot Resort’s Dye Course, an 18-hole shootout that crowned the 2019 World Champion.
There were 67 flights in this year’s tournament and 33 Myrtle Beach golf courses hosted tournament play each day. In total, 55 area courses hosted at least one round of the World Am.

As appealing as the competition was, it’s only half the fun at the World Am. Each night players gathered at the WORLD’S LARGEST 19th HOLE, which took over all 120,000 square feet of the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Tournament players and guests enjoyed great camaraderie, free food and drinks, a 70-exhibitor golf expo, live entertainment, demo areas, celebrity appearances and more.

Among the celebrity guests who appeared at the annual event were Charlie Rymer, Golf Channel stars Damon Hack and Chantel McCabe, billiards legend Ewa Laurance, and media personality Paige Spiranac. Silvia Rosenberger from Germany took home a $25,000 check for sinking a huge putt during the evening’s festivities.

The World Am also benefits the military. Crown Royal’s ‘Purple Bag Project,’ in which nonperishable items were gathered from attendees and sent to deployed military personnel along with messages from many of the attendees, as a means of showing gratitude and support for their service.

The World Amateur Handicap Championship, the world’s largest single-site tournament, is a Golf Tourism Solutions event.

Before the event, I was invited to a reception for some of the players who have been attending the World Am since the beginning in 1983. The Hard Rock Café at the Broadway at the Beach entertainment complex hosted the get-together. I spoke to one of the longtime attendees, Fred Pugh, from Columbia, South Carolina. Fred started out as a contender in the 49 and under category and gradually played his way to the Super Senior Division and now plays just for the fun of it and loves being part of the World Am. This group of lifers still love coming to the “GOLF CAPITAL OF THE WORLD,”  Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, every August to play the outstanding golf courses and meet new friends. Fred. an accomplished musician, actually entertained at the 19th Hole one year.

The DoubleTree Resort Does it Right

Because of the amount of golfers many hotels around Myrtle Beach host the players. The DoubleTree Resort by Hilton, an expansive oceanfront two wing facility at 3200 South Ocean Boulevard, was my host venue along with hundreds of other golfers. I stayed in the Live Oak Wing with a beautiful well-appointed 6th-floor room. All the accommodations at the Resort face the ocean, and every morning at 6 am they served a hot and filling breakfast buffet. It was a fun time each day listening to the ‘war stories’ from the different players I broke bread with. The Hotel’s excellent service staff made sure everyone got their fill of fresh fruit, eggs, grits, potatoes, pancakes, french toast, gourmet baked breads, toast. coffee and orange juice.

DoubleTree Resort is centrally located to all the Myrtle Beach golf courses and about 5 minutes from the airport. With covered parking, multiple water features, convention facilities, the Ocean Blue Lounge and Dining Room, a putting green, the Resort is the perfect stay and play. The Golf Concierge can plan your tee times at multiple courses.  I would definitely stay at DoubleTree Resort again.

For more information visit or call 843-315-7100.

About the Author

<a href="" target="_self">Dave Daubert</a>

Dave Daubert

Dave, a member of Golf Writers of America and International Golf Travel Writers Associations, has been writing about all things golf since the turn of the century. He was Managing Editor at a regional golf magazine for 11 years before joining eSouthernGOLF in 2013 as Editor. Dave has been published at TriStateGolfer, FairwaysGolfCanada, GeorgiaGolf&Travel, TexasGolfInsider, GolfTrips, NewEngland.Golf, ProGolfWeekly, and numerous regional and state publications. His unique perspective and insight make for an enjoyable read and interesting articles. Contact him at

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