World Amateur champ or King of the Sandbaggers?

Besting a field of 98 flight winners, Rich Brennan from Maumee, Ohio shot a net 62 (gross 83) in Friday’s World Championship Playoff to capture the 30th annual Golf.com World Amateur Handicap Championship.

Sam Owenby from Conway, S.C., shot net 63 (gross 87) to finish second behind Brennan, who carried a 21 handicap but shot 83 in the final round at Barefoot Resort’s Dye Club.

The World Am has often been jokingly called the “Sandbaggers Classic” for the number of participants who often seem to have miraculous recoveries from high handicaps during the tournament.

In team play, Robert Whaley and Ron Arledge from Jacksonville, Fla., shot a total of 139 to win the International Pairs event and earn the right to compete in Scotland next year in the IP World Finals.

The World Championship Playoff is the annual culmination of the Golf.com World Am, a 72-hole net, stroke play event. This year, more than 3,300 players from 46 states and 27 countries vied for the honor of hoisting the victor’s trophy.

Players are arranged into flights according to their handicap and at the conclusion of the four rounds, all flight winners advanced to the 18-hole world championship playoff.

The World Am features five competitive divisions, ranging from men and women 49 years-of-age and under to the super seniors 70 years-of-age and older. Players with handicaps as low as three and as high as 34 have won.

The weather throughout the entire week was ideal. The Dye Club, which has been ranked among America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses, was in pristine condition and provided an excellent test of golf for the finals.

Photo courtesy of MB Golf Holiday

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